January 13, 2015
After waiting more than three years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the long anticipated final Menu Labeling Regulations on December 1, 2014. These regulations bring the requirements imposed upon restaurants more closely into alignment with the requirements imposed upon processed food manufacturers. While the processed food industry has been operating under similar standards for some time, the menu labeling regulations are a game changer for those who serve ready-to-eat food. Determining whether your business is covered and what is required under this new rule is a process that needs to be undertaken immediately.

The restaurant regulations arise from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the “Act”). With the Act’s goal aimed at health, Congress required that covered restaurants and retail food establishments provide certain nutritional information to customers so that they can make informed decisions when eating out. Because the primary motivation was to address obesity and its associated co-morbidities, the most prominent nutritional information required is accurate calorie counts, although significant other nutritional information must be available upon request.

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