FDA Giving Businesses Another Year To Comply With Rules Requiring Calorie Counts On Menus

Restaurants and other businesses that were living under a deadline to include calorie counts on menus and displays will get a bit of wiggle room to comply with the rule passed by the Food and Drug Administration last fall. The agency now says food purveyors will have another year to get their acts together, extending the previous deadline from Dec. 1, 2015 to Dec. 1, 2016.

The FDA said today that it decided to tack on another year because restaurants and other retailers said they needed more time to implement the rules, reports the Associated Press.

In the meantime, the agency says those businesses are in the midst of training workers, installing menus and menu boards and developing software for more efficient and specific calorie label displays.

When the rules finally go into effect, restaurants and other businesses that sell prepared foods and have 20 or more locations will have to post the calorie content of food “clearly and conspicuously” on their menus, menu boards and other displays. The posted information will tell patrons that the basis for daily nutrition is a 2,000-calorie diet, while noting that individual calorie needs may vary.

Included in the rules are chain restaurants (both fast food and sit-down establishments), grocery and convenience stores selling prepared food meant for one person, movie theaters, amusement parks and even vending machines.

Vending machine businesses that own or operate more than 20 machines already had an extra year to comply with the rules, with a requirement that they show calorie counts on stickers or signs near each specific food for sale, or near the button to select it. In the updated information for consumers on the FDA site, it seems vending machines will have to have their labels sorted out by Dec. 1, 2016 along with the rest.

FDA: Calories on menus, menu boards delayed until 2016 [Associated Press]