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Menu Labeling

The Issue
On November 25, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its final rule establishing menu-labeling requirements for chain restaurants and “similar retail food establishments.” After two previous delays in enforcement - on May 1, 2017 the FDA announced that the rule would be further delayed until May 7, 2018. In addition to the delay, FDA requests comments on how the agency may reduce the regulatory burden on retailers and alternative approaches for labeling self-service foods, other methods for providing calorie disclosure other than on the menu itself, and criteria for distinguishing between a menu and other information such as an advertisement.

Generally, under the existing rule, establishments that are covered by the rule must post calories for standard menu items on menus or menu boards or, for self-service items and foods on display, on signs adjacent to the items. They also will be required to provide additional written nutrition information to consumers upon request.

Even with the delay, problems with the FDA's menu-labeling rule remain. Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) and Tony Cardenas (D-CA) introduced H.R. 772, and Senators Blunt (R-MO) and King (I-ME) introduced S. 261, both called the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, to amend the regulations and make compliance possible. Enactment of H.R. 772/S. 261 would result in consumers gaining more nutrition information and a greater amount of choices.

For more information on menu labeling, see these resources:

Retail Impact
Many in the industry have their own foodservice business or partner with other chains. A new uniform standard for the industry can be a positive development, but it must allow for sufficient flexibility to allow non-chain restaurants to comply. Otherwise, the FDA’s menu-labeling rule will subject many convenience stores to unnecessary and burdensome regulatory obligations.

NACS Position
NACS supports the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act. 




    Jon Taets
    Government Relations
    (703) 518-4224


 Compliance Resource Center


The Food and Drug Administration’s menu-labeling requirements for chain restaurants and “similar retail food establishments” will go into effect in May 2017. Read more in NACS Compliance Resource Center section.

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