FDA Offers More Clarity on Menu Labeling

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FDA Offers More Clarity on Menu Labeling

In an effort to clear up some confusion with the Menu Labeling regulations that go into effect May 7, 2018, the FDA has released a Supplemental Draft Guidance Document.

Highlights of the document include:

  • The removal of Q&As 5.17 and 5.18 (pertaining to calorie declarations on marketing materials such as signs on store windows and coupons) (Section 1), and the criteria for distinguishing between menus and marketing materials (S4).
  • Buffets and other self-service foods (S3). This draft guidance covers methods for declaring calories for self-service food and beverages and where to post the menu boards. There are also examples of FOP calorie declarations for grab-and-go foods.
  • Calorie declarations on menu boards (S5). One section is devoted to build-your-own pizzas, combination meals, and family-style meals, which have additional challenges for calorie declaration.
  • Compliance and enforcement of menu labeling regulations (S6). FDA says it will work with establishments and not penalize minor violations.
  • Acceptable methods for determining nutrient content of standard menu items (S7). FDA allows a reasonable basis when determining calories, including databases.

In addition, the guidance document makes other clarifications, gives additional examples and discusses accommodations.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a press release that he wanted to make sure the public had the desired information as soon as possible, while keeping regulations from being overly burdensome for restaurants.

“I’m fully committed to implementing these provisions on the timetable we’ve already announced. But I’m equally committed to making sure we implement these provisions in a way that is practical, efficient and sustainable,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb encourages stakeholders to continue to provide feedback.

Menu Labeling Resources:

ESHA’s Consulting Services team is well versed in the Menu Labeling regulations and can assist you with compliance!

Call us today at 800-659-3742 and let us help you get on the path towards compliance!