Comment period for FDA’s draft nutrition, menu labeling guidance ends Nov. 2
By Jessica John Bowman and Sasha Beling
On December 1, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration published its final rule on Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments, 79 FR 71156. This rule requires restaurants and retail food establishments — including traditional restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, entertainment venues, and other facilities that sell “restaurant-type food” — that are part of a chain of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name to post calorie information concerning their standard menu items on their menus and menu boards.
Following a series of questions by those in the restaurant and retail services industries, the FDA provided much-anticipated supplemental guidance concerning the FDA’s current position on the final rule’s requirements when it issued its “Draft Guidance for Industry: A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II.” This draft guidance provides additional insight into the FDA’s current thinking concerning the establishments that are subject to the final rule, the types of foods covered by the rule, and the manner in which nutritional information is to be displayed.
Those who are affected by the final rule, as well as those who are unsure whether they are impacted by the rule, may contact the FDA with questions, comments and other correspondence concerning the draft guidance. Although such comments are accepted at any time, the FDA has requested that all such correspondence be submitted by November 2, 2015, to ensure that the FDA has time to consider the correspondence before beginning work on the final version of the guidance.
If you have any questions, please contact one of the authors or a lawyer in our Food Industry Group.