How United States Menu Labeling Laws and Regulations Affect Your Restaurant

On December 30, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration published a “final rule” pertaining to restaurants and menu labeling. According to this most recent publication, restaurants must comply with FDA menu labeling regulations if:

  • The restaurant sells restaurant-type foods (which includes everything from a hot food bar within a supermarket to a coffee shop muffin to a full three-course dinner), and
  • The restaurant is part of a chain of 20+ locations.

At this time, restaurants who are not part of the above “final rule” may voluntarily choose to register with the FDA and comply with menu labeling law. They are still subject to any state regulations that pertain to their type of restaurant—although states are prohibited from making different laws that pertain to final rule establishments.

How Does Your Restaurant Comply?

Remember, these requirements only apply to restaurants that fall under the “final rule” above. In order to comply with these FDA regulations, your restaurant must:

  • Post calorie information in writing for all standard items on menus and boards.
  • Have broken-down nutritional information in writing available on request, including total fat, cholesterol, carbs, sodium, etc. (You can obtain this information directly from your MenuCalcⓇ account.)
  • Alert customers of the availability of the above information on menus and boards.
  • Post a succinct statement on menus and boards about FDA-suggested daily caloric intake.

According to the newest published FDA menu labeling regulations, your restaurant must be in full compliance of the above by May 7, 2018. This gives you plenty of time to obtain nutrition analysis of your menu—especially if you choose to receive your results instantly by using MenuCalc’s database nutrition analysis system.

For more details, check out our white paper “Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments.”

MenuCalc is the leading online nutritional analysis software specifically designed for use by food service professionals. We also offer expert consulting services which include regulatory advising for menu law compliance. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can work together to merge compliance and diner satisfaction in one nutrition analysis process.

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