For those anxious about today’s compliance date for Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations governing calorie labeling, the compliance deadline has been postponed. FDA has again decided to delay the compliance date for its regulations governing calorie and other nutritional labeling for menus and menu boards at restaurants and similar establishments.  The new date for compliance is May 7, 2018.

The additional year is necessary to allow the Agency to reconsider aspects of the regulations to “further reduce the regulatory burden or increase flexibility while continuing to achieve our regulatory objective.”[i]  Further, the Agency stated that “continued, fundamental questions and concerns with the final rule suggest that critical implementation issues, including some related to scope, may not have been fully understood and the agency does not want to proceed if we do not have all of the relevant facts on the matters.”[ii]

The final rule (79 FR 71156; codified at 21 C.F.R. § 101.11) had an original compliance date of December 1, 2014, which was later extended to July 10, 2015 (80 FR 39675), and ultimately to December 30, 2016 (81 FR 96364).

As part of this extension of time, FDA is seeking additional comments regarding the compliance date extension, implementation of the final rule, and three “fundamental issues that continue to pose significant implementation challenges:”[iii]

  • Calorie disclosure signage for self-service foods, including buffets and grab-and-go foods;
  • Methods for providing calorie disclosure information other than on the menu itself, including how different kinds of retailers might use different methods; and
  • Criteria for distinguishing between menu and other information presented to the consumer.

The deadline to submit comments is July 3, 2017.

[i] https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/05/04/2017-09029/food-labeling-nutrition-labeling-of-standard-menu-items-in-restaurants-and-similar-retail-food

[ii] Id.

[iii] Id.