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FDA Finalizes Guidance to Help Food Establishments Meet Menu Labeling Requirements

Monday, May 14, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final guidance document to further assist restaurants and similar retail food establishments to implement the requirements of the menu labeling final rule . The menu labeling rule applies to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items. Covered establishments are required to disclose the number of calories contained in standard items on menus and menu boards, or in close proximity for self-service foods and foods on display. Businesses must also provide, upon request, information for an item's total calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber and protein.

The guidance document addresses public and stakeholder comments and expands upon the draft version issued in November 2017, by providing further clarity on FDA's practical and flexible approach to several components of the final rule. The question-and-answer style guidance includes graphics and pictures to illustrate the ways industry can comply with the provisions of the menu labeling final rule. The guidance explains how to distinguish a menu and menu board from marketing materials like coupons and calorie disclosure signage for self-service foods. The menu labeling final rule became effective May 7.

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