FDA Postpones Menu Labeling Requirements Once Again

May 2017

On May 1, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) postponed the compliance date for the regulations requiring disclosure of nutrition information for menu items in certain retail food establishments until May 7, 2018, over a year later than the previously updated compliance date of May 5, 2017. This is the third time the FDA has delayed the compliance date, which was originally scheduled for December 1, 2015.

The FDA is taking this extra time to review the final rule to determine how to “further reduce the regulatory burden or increase flexibility” of the regulations. As a primary matter, the FDA is seeking comments from stakeholders for the next 60 days about the extension of the compliance date as well as the implementation of the regulations.

The regulations, originally published by the FDA on December 1, 2014, require any retail food establishments with 20 or more locations to display, among other specific disclosures, the number of calories contained in each standard menu item, a statement regarding suggested daily caloric intake, and a statement of availability of additional nutrition information upon the customer’s request.

In addition to a chain of restaurants with 20 or more locations, the regulations also apply to many other types of establishments including: bakeries, cafeterias, coffee shops, convenience stores, delicatessens, food service facilities located within entertainment venues (such as amusement parks, bowling alleys, and movie theaters), food service vendors (e.g., ice cream shops and mall cookie counters), food take-out and/or delivery establishments (such as pizza take-out and delivery establishments), grocery stores, retail confectionary stores, and superstores.

We will continue to monitor the regulations and provide updates as they come. If you have any questions or would like help ensuring your menu boards are in compliance with the FDA regulations, please contact one of the Lewis Rice attorneys listed here.