Foodservice Equipment Reports

FDA Sets The Date, Finally, On Menu Labeling

In March, it looked as if the official rollout of menu labeling would never be announced. But now, six years after calorie labeling on menus was mandated as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the Food and Drug Administration has released final guidance on implementing the regulation.

Compliance and enforcement will begin in May 2017. The requirements apply to chain restaurants, supermarkets and other foodservice venues with 20 or more locations.

With the announcement comes “A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II (Menu Labeling Requirements in Accordance with 21 CFR 101.11).” The guidance document responds to many FAQs, and is designed to offer clarity and guidance on previously released menu labeling regulations. The FDA says “it differs from the draft guidance by providing additional examples and new or revised questions and answers on topics such as covered establishments, alcoholic beverages, catered events, mobile vendors, grab-and-go items, and record-keeping requirements.”

The agency promises educational and technical assistance to operators, including webinars and menu-labeling workshops to help restaurants and other businesses comply. Questions on menu labeling requirements directly to CalorieLabeling@fda.hhs.gov.

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