The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently adopted regulations that require restaurants and retail food establishments, including coffee shops, grocery stores, food facilities in entertainment venues, etc., that are one of 20+ locations of the same business (i.e., a chain or franchise) to provide nutrition and calories for “standard menu items,” including alcoholic beverages. An exception to this requirement are alcoholic beverages that are on display behind the bar, which would be considered more as demonstrating the options consumers have rather than using the displayed beverages for consumption. Remember, this rule only applies to drinks that are included on the menu or menu board. Restaurants and covered food establishments must come into compliance by December 1, 2015.
The FDA also adopted regulations requiring vending machine operators with 20 or more machines to provide calorie information for certain food products sold. Such operators have two years to comply.