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National Restaurant Association - FDA eyes February for release of menu-labeling rules

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FDA eyes February for release of menu-labeling rules

If the Food and Drug Administration sticks to its latest schedule, it will release the final regulations on menu labeling in February.

The menu-labeling regulations will require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to list the calorie content for items on menus and menu boards, including those at drive-thru restaurants. Other nutritional information, such as fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber and protein, would have to be made available to customers, in writing, upon request. The FDA’s final regulations will establish a uniform standard for how chain restaurants make calorie and nutrition information available and supersede conflicting state and local menu-labeling rules.

The FDA’s proposed menu-labeling regulations were released in 2011 as part of the health care law, but the release of the final rules has been delayed several times.

Once the final regulations are released, the industry will have at least six months to implement them; however, the Association requested a year for implementation. The National Restaurant Association, which has advocated for maximum flexibility for the restaurant industry in menu-labeling rules, filed comments on the proposed rules.

A summary of the proposed rules can be found on the FDA’s website.

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