How United States Menu Labeling Laws and Regulations Affect Your Restaurant
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring disclosure of nutrition information for standard menu items in certain restaurants and retail food establishments. Restaurants that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items must provide calorie and other nutrition information for standard menu items, including food on display and selfservice food. Providing nutrition information, including the calorie content of foods, in restaurants and similar retail food establishments will enable consumers to make informed and healthful dietary choices.
The rule defines “covered establishment” as a restaurant or similar retail food establishment that is part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name (regardless of the type of ownership, e.g., individual franchises) and offering for sale substantially the same menu items, as well as a restaurant or similar retail food establishment that is registered to be covered under the rule. The business is considered a restaurant or similar retail food establishment if:
- The business presents itself as a restaurant publicly; – OR – Is an establishment that offers for sale restaurant-type food.
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 now be in full compliance. If you are not in compliance, or need assistance complying with this regulation, you can 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.”