Retail Food Labeling Requirements for Restaurants Selling Products

restaurant food products

Food that is produced on-site is not required to have a label according to the FDA.

As a restaurant owner, you are probably well aware of the final rule changes by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that went into effect in May of 2018 regarding calorie and nutrition label information. What you might not know is how these final rule changes affect labeling requirements regarding food that a customer would typically take away rather than eat immediately. Some of these products include:

  • Spice mixes

  • Condiments

  • Deli meats and cheeses

  • Breads

  • Frozen Pies

  • Homemade Ice Cream

Foods that are intended to be consumed over several eating occasions or stored for later user are not considered “restaurant-type” food and are not subject to the same calorie declaration requirements as the other items on your menu. Another exemption is food that is usually prepared further before consuming (such as deli meats and cheeses). Foods that are typically sold by weight (like potato or chicken salad) are also exempt from the “restaurant-type” food requirement.

If you are looking to calculate calorie counts and nutrition values for your menu items, click here to view your options.

Labeling Requirements

Packaged foods regulated by the FDA would typically require a Nutrition Facts Label. Food that is primarily processed and prepared on-site is considered exempt from any sort of labeling requirement. If the food is not prepared on-site but is sold according to customer specifications (e.g., by weight or volume) then labeling is also not required.

For foods that require nutrition labeling, there is also a small business exemption. A person who employs fewer than the equivalent of 100 full-time employees and sells less than 100,000 units of a food product can file a notice with the FDA and be granted an exemption.

If none of these exemptions apply, it’s possible that the food product you’re selling might require a nutrition label. It is best to go over any questions you may have with an expert consultant who can go over the requirements with you.

MenuCalc is an industry-leading recipe analysis tool used by many restaurant, cafe, and convenience store owners. To start a free trial or learn more, contact us today.

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