FDA Finalizes Menu and Vending Machine Calorie Labeling Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finalized two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines with 20 or more locations to provide consumers with more nutritional information about the foods they eat outside of the home. The rules are required by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Covered food establishments will be required to clearly and conspicuously display calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards, next to the name or price of the item. Seasonal menu items offered for sale as temporary menu items, daily specials and condiments for general use typically available on a counter or table are exempt from the labeling requirements.

The menu labeling rule also includes food facilities in entertainment venue chains such as movie theaters and amusement parks. Restaurants and similar retail food establishments will have one year to comply with the menu labeling requirements.

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