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Federal Menu Labeling Regulations Delayed Again

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:08 pm

The FDA is delaying the Dec. 1 date for enforcement of the government’s menu-labeling regulations. The agency issued a statement March 9 indicating federal menu-labeling requirements will not be enforced until one year after the FDA publishes its final guidance on the rule.

The rule will require restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations operating under the same name and serving substantially the same menu items to post calorie information for standard menu items and provide guests with additional nutrition information upon request.

Enforcement originally was expected to begin Dec. 1, 2015, but has been delayed twice. Last July FDA moved the enforcement deadline to Dec. 1, 2016, saying affected businesses needed more guidance and time to comply. Then in December, Congress directed the FDA to push the law’s enforcement date until one year after the agency published final guidance. FDA’s March 9 announcement makes this delay official.

The FDA issued draft guidance for affected businesses in September but is still analyzing the feedback and has not yet indicated when that final guidance will come.

“FDA appreciates the extensive input received from stakeholders throughout the process of establishing requirements for menu labeling and in developing guidance,” said Dr. Susan Mayne, the agency’s director for food safety and applied nutrition. “We will work flexibly and cooperatively with establishments covered by the menu labeling final rule to facilitate compliance and will provide educational and technical assistance.”

Joan McGlockton, VP of industry relations and food policy for the National Restaurant Association (NRA), says the association has long supported a nationwide, uniform menu-labeling standard for chain restaurants that provides flexibility for restaurants and preempts a patchwork of state and local laws.

“As the FDA prepares further guidance, we will continue to work with the agency to address issues of concern for our industry and ensure a smooth transition for restaurants and consumers alike,” she said.

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Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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