New York, NY – A new rule requiring all restaurants with 15 or more nationwide locations and retailers offering prepared foods to post caloric measurements on menu boards went into effect May 22. Additionally, chains will have to provide full nutritional information beyond just calories for standard menu items available on site, and they will have to post a statement about the daily recommended caloric intake of 2,000 calories. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the rule would be enforced the previous week. Departments of Health and Consumer Affairs will begin enforcing these rules by making business aware of the new requirements during standard health inspections, but after August 21, businesses can be fined up to $600 for violating the rule.
This new rule along with the increase in minimum wage poses a financial burden on NYC grocers reports Supermarket News. In January, minimum wage reached $11, but by 2019 will increase to $15 per hour. It can also be a logistical nightmare if a chain offers food in multiple combinations. Dominos Pizza for example has lamented the rule fearing that they will be required to provide nutritional information for each of the millions of possible combinations.
This is merely the latest iteration of calorie-labeling laws in New York City. In 2008, the city became the first jurisdiction to require calorie labeling for chain restaurants, leading the way for other cities and states that followed suit. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act required that menus label calories, making it a national requirement.
In 2015, the city updated its Health Code to include menu boards, but delayed implementation in anticipation of an identical federal rule, however, when the federal government announced it would delay enforcement for a year, New York City decided to enforce the Health Code as intended.
“We are all tempted to make unhealthy choices, but with these new, common-sense rules, New Yorkers will have the information to make better choices and lead healthier lives,” stated Mayor de Blasio in his announcement. “We can no longer wait for federal action, and urge other cities to follow our lead.”