The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized two rules that will require chain restaurants, vending machines, and similar retail food establishments to inform consumers of calorie information on menus and menu boards.
Rule 1: Menu Labeling
This rule requires:
- The calories of the menu items be placed on the menu or menu board, and it applies to larger restaurants and similar retail food establishments (e.g., part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, and offering the same menu items).
- Calorie labeling for certain alcoholic beverages and certain foods sold at entertainment venues such as movie theaters and amusement parks.
- Menus and menu boards include the following statement: “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.”
- Covered establishments provide, upon customer request, written nutrition information about total calories, total fat, calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, and protein.
Restaurants and similar retail establishments that are covered will have one year from the date of publication of the menu labeling final rule to comply with the requirements. Foods purchased in grocery stores or other retail stores intended for more than one person and requiring additional preparation before consuming are not covered by this rule.
Rule 2: Vending Machines
This rule requires that vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines disclose calorie information for food sold from vending machines, subject to certain exceptions. Vending machine operators that are covered will have two years from the date of publication of the vending machine labeling final rule to comply with the requirements.
For more information about these new rules please visit www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm423987.htm.