UPDATE: This article, originally published in May of this year, stated the deadline for compliance was December 1, 2015. The FDA announced last week that it is extending the deadline by one year, so restaurants and other establishments now have until December 1, 2016 to comply. The article has been updated to reflect this change.
Although menu labeling became law as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration did not finalize rules until November of last year. The idea driving this new health conscious rule is the finding that nearly one third of the average American’s calorie intake is consumed outside the home.
The policy update requires calorie counts to be readily available on menus and menu boards at chain restaurants, amusement parks, movie theatres and even grocers with prepared foods. Almost any food outlet with 20 or more stores will need to comply by December 1st 2016, and that has many in the food industry actively planning to make the adjustment.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about the final rules.