FDA Menu Labeling Summary for Restaurant Chains

by Danielle Starin, MS, RD on November 25, 2014  |  Topics: Announcements, Restaurants

The new FDA restaurant menu labeling requirements have arrived. For your convenience, we are summarizing the 395 page FDA docket below and providing you with step-by-step instructions on how to comply!

(NOTE: for the complete updated summary

please visit our new FDA regulations summary post)

Who must comply?

All restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations.  [See Complete List]

When does this go into effect?

Although you are not required to comply until December 1st, 2015, you should start the process immediately. On average, it takes several months to compile all of the information necessary and to create new signage.

What do I need to do?

  • Post calories for all standard menu items
  • Provide full nutritional breakdowns upon customer request
  • Include succinct statements on menus to provide reference for customers

Where do calories and nutrition details need to be posted?

  • Calories must be posted on all menus and menu boards next to the item name or price
  • Complete nutrition must be available upon customer request at all locations
  • See: Additional Placement Details

How do I get help complying with these new rules?

Nutritionix provides menu labeling consulting to over 60 national restaurant chains.  To get a free consultation, please fill out the form below, or contact us at FDA@nutritionix.com.

Are you a restaurant operator?  See below to learn more about compliance.

UPDATE 11:01AM EST Our available time slots have now filled up for this week.  Please use the form below to be added to our consultation wait list.  If you have an urgent inquiry, please email us at FDA@nutritionix.com.


Fill out my online form.

UPDATE 2:23PM EST Below is an update to the list of regulations.

How do restaurants comply?

  • Post calories for all standard menu items
  • Declare total calories for meal-combos
    • i.e. a meal with a sandwich, side, and beverage
  • Provide full nutritional breakdowns upon customer request
    • The full breakdown must include the following fields:
      • Total calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, and protein.
      • Vitamins and minerals are optional
  • Include succinct statements on menus to provide reference for customers
    • Menus must include the following statement “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary”
    • They must also include a statement about the availability of full nutrition information upon customer request

 

Where do restaurants need to display nutrition?

  • Calories must be posted on all menus and menu boards next to the item name or price
    • Menu and menu boards include, but are not limited to, breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus; dessert menus; beverage menus; children’s menus; other specialty menus; electronic menus; and online menus.
  • Complete nutrition must be available upon customer request at all locations
    • This information can be displayed in many different ways including on a computer, tablet, digital menu board, and/or kiosk.

 

I am a restaurant operator, where do I begin?

  • If you have already analyzed your menu’s nutrition, that’s great!
    • Check how recently it was updated and gather a team at your brand to make sure it is up-to-date
    • Come up with a strategy for disseminating the information (see next sub-bullet points for more details)
  • If you are starting from scratch, that’s okay too!
    • Connect with your operations team to compile all recipes and spec sheets for your menu
    • Contact a nutrition analysis company to analyze your menu. Here are three types:
      • Self Analysis – Analyze your menu with nutrition analysis software (Time-intensive)
      • Database Analysis Company – Registered Dietitians conduct the analysis (Recommended)
      • Chemical Laboratory Analysis – Food items are sent to labs to be analyzed (used mostly for fried foods)
    • Determine how you want the information presented to customers in the easiest and most reproducible format
      • If you print a brochure and send to all locations, you may have to start all over in a few weeks when menus change and resend.
      • Consider interactive nutrition tools to let customers view live updates of nutrition on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
  • Let Nutritionix manage your nutrition information
    • With over 10 years of experience developing nutrition and allergen calculators for chains such as Red Lobster and Jason’s Deli, Nutritionix is your one stop shop for nutrition management.
    • Nutritionix offers menu labeling compliance consulting services to guide you step by step through the process
    • Want to learn more? Sign up for our upcoming FDA menu labeling webinar! The webinar will be held on multiple dates throughout December.  Not a webinar fan? Sign up above for a one-on-one consultation call.

 

Full list of operators who must comply:

  • Bakeries
  • Cafeterias
  • Coffee Shops
  • Convenience Stores
  • Delicatessens
  • Food Service Facilities within Entertainment Venues, such as
    • Amusement Parks
    • Bowling Alleys
    • Movie Theaters
  • Food Service Vendors, such as
    • Ice Cream Shops
    • Mall Cookie Counters
  • Food Take-Out & Delivery
  • Grocery Stores
  • Retail Confectionery Stores
  • Superstores
  • Quick Service Restaurants
  • Full Service Restaurants

 

Danielle Colley, MS, RD
Danielle Colley, MS, RD
Director, Nutrition
fda@nutritionix.com

 


About Nutritionix:

Nutritionix is the world’s leading provider of interactive nutrition tools for restaurant chains.  Our web-based management platform allows restaurants to instantly publish nutrition data to the web, mobile web, and digital menu boards. Nutritionix offers menu labeling consulting services to ensure your brand stays compliant.  For more information, contact us via email at fda@nutritionix.com.

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