The United States Office of Management and Budget has stated that the deadline for The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rule to mandate nutrition labeling of standard menu items in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments is April 2013. The rule—formally titled “Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments (72 FR 19192)”—is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010.
“This menu labeling law is going to change the restaurant dining experience,” stated Lori Stephens, MS, REHS/RS of ABC Research Laboratories, in a statement. “In essence, every chain restaurant with 20 or more locations must provide certain nutritional information on all menus and menu boards, with additional information available per restaurant guest request depending on the kind of restaurant.”
“This announcement has been looming on the horizon for the last few years, and we understand that many in the restaurant industry have been hesitating to start labeling their menu items until they were sure there would be no further changes or in case the rule would be repealed,” shared Chief Scientific Officer Gillian Folkes Dagan, Ph.D. “The announcement of this date means it is time to wake up, smell the coffee, and start preparing your menu items for nutritional labeling. ABC Research saw this coming, and we have taken steps to increase the capacity of our nutritional labeling department so we are prepared to meet the rush as restaurant chains hurry to comply with the rule. We strongly recommend that restaurants begin testing as soon as possible to ensure that they have time to understand the results, make necessary changes, and get the final information to their menus and menu boards.”