In May 2017 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will delay enforcing its new menu labelling regulations.(1) The FDA issued an interim final rule to extend the compliance date from May 2017 to May 2018.(2)

As currently drafted, the menu regulations will require covered food establishments to provide caloric information on specified menus in a particular manner, as outlined in the law.(3) For example, menus must display a succinct statement about suggested daily caloric intake and provide consistent nutrient information in a direct and accessible manner. At the request of customers, the law will require covered food establishments to provide additional nutritional information such as:

  • total calories;
  • calories from fat;
  • total fat;
  • trans fat;
  • cholesterol;
  • sodium;
  • total carbohydrates;
  • fibre;
  • sugars; and
  • protein.

'Covered food establishments' are restaurants or similar retail food establishments, as defined by the law, including restaurants that are part of a chain of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and that offer substantially the same menu items for sale. According to the FDA's interim rule, the enforcement time period was extended for the FDA to consider options to further reduce the regulatory burden or increase flexibility for covered food establishments.

For further information on this topic please contact SL Owens at Gardere by telephone (+1 720 437 2000) or email (s.l.owens@gardere.com). The Gardere website can be accessed at www.gardere.com.

This article was first published by the International Law Office, a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. Register for a free subscription.

Endnotes

(1) This is the third update in a series on recent franchising developments across the United States – for earlier stories please see "Revised SBA regulations and addendum" and "New commentary on financial performance representations".

(2) Food and Drug Administration, Interim Rule: Food Labelling; Nutrition Labelling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Extension of Compliance Date, Request for Comments (May 4 2017).

(3) Food and Drug Administration, Overview of FDA Labelling Requirements for Restaurants, Similar Retail Food Establishments and Vending Machines.