Washington, D.C.—Menus and menu boards at chain restaurants and other establishments will now have another year before calorie labels are mandatory, according to the Food and Drug Administration(FDA).This deadline has been pushed back to December 1st, 2016 by FDA following requests for more time from restaurants and retailers to implement the new rules. Among these implementation measures are training workers, developing software and installing new menus and menu boards to provide more efficient and specific calorie label displays, according to an FDA statement.
Originally passed by Congress as a part of the healthcare overhaul in 2010, these rules affect any establishment that sells prepared foods and has 20 or more locations, including prepared foods departments at supermarkets, vending machine, amusement parks and movie theatres, among other establishments. These establishments will be required to display calorie counts “clearly and conspicuously” on their menus and/or displays. In addition, they will also be required to say that a 2,000 calorie diet is used as the basis for daily nutrition, though individual calorie needs may vary. Additional nutritional information including levels of sodium and sugar will be required to be available upon request as well.
Several food companies, such as the pizza industry, have campaigned against the rule in the past, saying that in addition to being overly burdensome, the rule may not be useful in cases where customers primarily order over the phone and no menus are seen.