On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration officially announced the availability of final guidance on the federal menu-labeling rule, which means restaurateurs and similar retail food establishments now have a date certain for compliance: May 5, 2017.
The menu-labeling rule was part of the health care law President Obama signed into law in 2010. It requires restaurants and foodservice businesses with 20 or more locations operating under the same name and serving substantially the same menu items to post calorie information for standard menu items and provide guests with additional nutrition information upon request.
The FDA’s final guidance responds to many questions the National Restaurant Association and NRA members submitted to the agency after draft guidance was published last September. In its guidance, the agency provided updated answers on such topics as which establishments must comply and how the regulations apply to alcoholic beverages, catered events, mobile vendors, grab-and-go items, and record-keeping requirements.
The agency will continue to conduct webinars and hold menu-labeling workshops that focus on specific stakeholder needs. The FDA said it would announce more information about the workshops at a later date.