Keeping You Updated: FDA Menu Labeling

Keeping You Updated: FDA Menu Labeling - GSP

The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015, a tweak to the mandatory menu labeling provisions that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week. With a 266-144 vote, the bill moved on to the Senate, where it awaits their approval.

If it passes, the NACS-supported bill would ease, but not eliminate, some of the menu-labeling rules that the FDA wanted. The bill would…

  • permit the designation of a “primary” menu in a retail establishment where all nutrition information may be displayed
  • clarify that ads are not menus and thus do not need nutrition labeling
  • permit “reasonable” variations in serving size and ingredients as well as the preparation of menu items
  • permit nutrition information in a calories-per-serving format (“per slice”) as opposed to the whole (a whole pizza or whole cake)
  • permit restaurants where most orders are placed remotely (e.g., pizza chains) to provide nutrition information on a menu online as opposed to onsite
  • eliminate criminal penalties for menu violations
  • give retailers in violation 90 days to correct errors penalty-free
  • bar private civil actions for violations under state law

The White House and consumer health advocates oppose this bill so it’s still unknown whether the President would veto it.

What we know for sure

Enforcement of current mandatory menu labeling is still scheduled to start December 2016. A lot of information needs to make its way into your store environment soon.

It will affect…

  • food and beverage menu boards (hot and cold)
  • foods for sale that are intended to feed one person

We know it’s a big undertaking for your stores. We understand all of the areas of your stores that this law will impact, the tight space you’re working with, the need to balance marketing and compliance – even that your stores are all different sizes and the execution challenges. Those are our specialty! You can count on GSP to keep you informed and help you prepare.

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