The FDA has announced the new, stricter rules of menu labeling for restaurant chains and vending machines. Here’s what you need to know, and how it could affect your eating lifestyle.
Restaurants with 20 or more locations are required to post caloric information on all menus and menu boards: Restaurant chains (described as any covered food establishment with 20 or more locations), must post the calories of all foods and beverages next to the name of the item and/or the price tag.
That means alcohol, too (kind of): From the FDA press release: “The menu labeling final rule now includes certain alcoholic beverages served in covered food establishments and listed on the menu, but still provides flexibility in how establishments meet this provision.”
Seasonal items are exempt from labeling: Daily specials, condiments, and seasonal foods/beverages are not required to have posted caloric information (you’ll happily remain in the dark about your favorite Gingerbread Spice latte!).
That goes for amusement parks, movie theaters, and vending machines, too: Any food venues with 20 or more locations in amusement parks and movie theaters, as well as vending machines, must also comply with the rules (although vending machines have two years to catch up, whereas all other restaurants must comply within a year).
Pizza chains will post calories by the slice: Due to personalization flexibility inherent to pizza chains like Pizza Hut and Domino’s, the FDA is allowing pizza chains to post caloric information by the slice, as opposed to by the pie.
You can now get nutritional information at any major chain: All chain restaurants must have nutritional information (ingredients, fat/salt content, etc.) available upon request.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi