4 Things you need to know about the FDA’s new labeling requirements

On May 7, 2018, the FDA will enforce new menu-labeling rules for many chain restaurants. Here are the key points to know about the change.
 

What’s changing?

Restaurants that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations are now required to disclose calorie information on menus and menu boards next to the name or price of the food or beverage.
 

What food items or beverages are covered under the new rules?

What’s Covered

  • Food purchased at drive-thru windows
  • Takeout and delivery food
  • Meals purchased from sit-down and fast-food restaurants
  • Food purchased at bakeries and coffee shops, as well as restaurant-type food in certain grocery and convenience stores
  • Food purchased at a movie theater or amusement park
  • Food that customers serve themselves, such as a salad or hot-food bar
  • Alcoholic beverages – such as cocktails – when they’re listed on a menu

What’s Not

  • Bottles of liquor sold at a bar
  • Food in transportation vehicles (such as airplanes, trains and food trucks)
  • Food sold at deli counters and typically intended for more than one person

 

How big should the calorie information be?

Calorie information can’t be smaller than the name or price of the menu item.
 

Do I need to provide nutritional information other than calories?

Menus and menu boards should tell customers that they may ask for additional written nutritional information on:

  • Total calories
  • Calories from fat
  • Total fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Trans fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Total carbohydrates
  • Sugars
  • Fiber
  • Protein

This information can often be obtained from nutrient databases, cookbooks, laboratory analyses or the Nutrition Facts label.

Still have questions? Visit the FDA’s website for a complete look at upcoming labeling laws.
 
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