Wonder of wonders, the FDA at last has issued its Final Guidance on Menu Labeling to go into effect a year from now.
Why astonishment? New York City has had menu labeling since 2008. The national process started in 2010.
Here’s the chronology:
|2010||March 23||President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act which includes a provision requiring chain retail food establishments with 20 or more locations to provide calorie information for standard menu items.|
|July 7||FDA publishes Federal Register notice soliciting comments and suggestions|
|Aug 25||FDA requests comments on “Draft Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding Implementation of the Menu Labeling.”|
|2011||Jan 25||FDA withdraws draft implementation guidance; announces intent to exercise enforcement discretion until rulemaking process is complete; requests comments.|
|April 6||FDA issues proposed rule.|
|May 24||FDA issues document correcting errors in proposed rules; extends comment period.|
|July 5||FDA issues notice of proposed rulemaking.|
|2014||Dec 1||FDA issues final rule.|
|2016||April||FDA issues guidance for industry.|
Happily, the rules will cover:
bakeries, cafeterias, coffee shops, convenience stores, delicatessens, food service facilities and concession stands located within entertainment venues (such as amusement parks, bowling alleys, and movie theatres), food service vendors (such as ice cream shops and mall cookie counters), food takeout or delivery establishments (such as pizza takeout and delivery establishments), grocery stores, retail confectionary stores, superstores, quick service restaurants and table service restaurants.
Center for Science in the Public Interest has produced celebratory graphics:
It’s too bad we have to wait yet another year, but menu labels are worth the wait.
The FDA documents:
- Final Guidance for Industry: A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II (Menu Labeling Requirements in Accordance with 21 CFR 101.11)
- Guidance for Industry: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments: Small Entity Compliance Guide
- Final Rule: Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments