The FDA has made a final rule that “covered” retail and foodservice establishments must make calorie information available on their menus to help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families. The deadline for implementation is December 1, 2015. (UPDATE!!!! – The FDA has extended the compliance date to December 2016).
A covered establishment: (1) be part of a chain of 20 or more locations, (2) doing business under the same name, and (3) offering for sale substantially the same menu items.
Examples of restaurant-type foods that are covered when sold by a facility that is part of a chain with 20 or more locations include:
- Meals from sit-down restaurants
- Foods purchased at drive-through windows
- Take-out food, such as pizza
- Foods, such as made-to-order sandwiches, ordered from a menu or menu board at a delicatessen
- Foods you serve yourself from a salad or hot food bar
- Muffins at a bakery or coffee shop
- Popcorn purchased at a movie theater or amusement park
- A scoop of ice cream, milk shake or sundae from an ice cream store
- Hot dogs or frozen drinks prepared on site in a convenience or warehouse store
- Certain alcoholic beverages
Foods not covered include: foods purchased in grocery stores or other similar retail food establishments that are typically intended for more than one person to eat and require additional preparation before consuming, such as pounds of deli meats, cheeses, or large-size deli salads.
Covered establishments must (1) disclose calorie information on menus and menu boards for standard menu items; (2) post a succinct statement of a 2000 suggested daily caloric intake on menus and menu boards; and (3) post on menus and menu boards a statement that written nutrition information is available upon request.