Home » Final FDA Menu Labeling Rule Raises NACS & FMI Concerns

Final FDA Menu Labeling Rule Raises NACS & FMI Concerns

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:07 pm

Late last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final guidance on menu-labeling regulations, with a final date of May 2017 for compliance.

After reviewing the final document, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) determined that the May 2017 compliance date is about the only language the FDA updated from its draft guidance.

“The FDA has done a disservice to convenience stores by willingly ignoring our industry’s interest in providing calorie information to consumers in a way that is actually helpful,” said Lyle Beckwith, SVP of government relations at NACS. “Rather than take into account the practicality of our industry’s ability to comply with the law, the FDA has moved ahead with menu-labeling requirements designed for chain restaurants and not convenience store foodservice programs.”

Given the FDA’s inaction, changes to the current law only will be possible through congressional action. Beckwith continued that legislation that already passed the U.S. House of Representatives in February, the Common Sense Menu Disclosure Act, and companion legislation in the Senate (S. 2217) would ensure consumer choice and make it possible for convenience stores to comply with the menu-labeling law.

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said, “The guidance is largely a reprint of the draft guidance the agency released in September 2015 and did not incorporate the critical flexibility requested by the supermarket industry to make chain restaurant menu labeling regulations more practical in a grocery store setting for key areas, including signage at the salad bar or hot foods bar.

“While we are pleased to have any type of guidance to assist with our challenging efforts to comply with a rule and a structure written for chain restaurants—as opposed to one that contemplates the operations of supermarkets with large and varied produce departments evolving to salad bars or seafood departments evolving to hot foods bars—the supermarket industry still seeks flexibility from FDA. Specifically, food retailers wish to preserve their opportunity to sell locally produced foods that are sold at only one or two locations as well as their ability to use one sign/menu/menu board in a prepared foods area or next to a salad bar,” said Sarasin.

About the author

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.”

Featured Photos

Featured Photo IDDBA Annual Convention
George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, TX