Friday, April 1, 2011

FDA Proposes Draft Menu and Vending Machine Labeling Requirements

The FDA releases documents today regarding proposed regulations for restaurants and vending machine operators to include nutrition details on their menus and vending machines, as part of a healthcare law passed last year.

The FDA proposed that certain restaurants and retail food establishments provide nutrition information for standard menu items, including food on display and self-service dishes.

The rules target restaurants with 20 or more locations, as well as other retail food outlets, coffee shops and convenience stores.  However, a notable exemption to the proposed rules are movie theaters.

The FDA also proposed that companies owning and operating 20 or more food vending machines would be required to provide calorie information in close proximity to the food item or selection button. 

The FDA is seeking public comment on the proposed rule for menu labeling for 60 days (until 06-06-2011). Comments on the proposed rule on vending machines may be submitted for 90 days (until 07-05-2011). The FDA plans to issue final rules before the end of 2011.

The documents may be downloaded here:
1. Food Labeling; Nutritional Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments (pdf); docket number FDA-2011-F-0172

2. Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines (pdf); docket number FDA-2011-F-0171