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Volume 15, Number 2 - February 2015

Greetings from Food Label News. Ground hog day. For those food labelers experiencing a winter wonderland still we are wishing you warmer days ahead. It's heating up for restaurants as new requirements for menu item labeling are approved. Read all about what's new and what's required. As always, we welcome your comments and discussion in the Food Label Community on LinkedIn!

In this issue you'll find:

 

"Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I will incorporate your suggestion into the label design. It really solves my dilemma. I greatly appreciate your patience and willingness to help us nail down each aspect of label compliance."

Rishi Nair
Aligna, Inc.

New on the Menu:
Required Nutrition Information

What's News in the Food Label Community

Reader Q&A: Accuracy Requirements for Supplement Facts

 

Karen C. Duester, President


New on the Menu:
Required Nutrition Information

The time has come for all restaurants and similar establishments that serve restaurant-type food to get on board with the new menu labeling law. This requires restaurants and food service facilities with 20+ locations (same name regardless of ownership) to disclose calories and other nutrition information.

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Due Diligence with Database Nutrition Analysis

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By December 1, 2015, FDA requires all menus and menu boards to include calories for each menu item as well as a statement about suggested daily caloric intake and availability of additional nutrition information upon request.

The final rule is comprehensive. Here's a quick summary of key points not to overlook:

Applies to a very broad range of restaurants and restaurant-type establishments - Examples include quick service and sit-down restaurants, food take-out facilities, pizza delivery establishments, food facilities in entertainment venues such as movie theaters and bowling alleys, cafeterias, coffee shops, convenience stores, grocery stores, and superstores. The rule excludes schools and food facilities without fixed sites such as mobile food trucks, trains, and airplanes.

Defines "standard" menu item The new rule covers menu items that are offered for sale at least 60 days per calendar year, which are considered "standard". Daily specials, custom orders and limited-time test market items (fewer than 90 consecutive days) are exempt.

Requires availability of additional nutrition information The following nutrients must be included in the additional information you provide for menu items: calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, and protein.

Preparing nutrition documentation for all of your menu items for the first time can be a daunting task. Maintaining the accuracy of the information over time is challenging as well. The reality is that restaurants are now required to keep nutrition information accurate and up-to-date despite new vendors, different portion sizes, menu item changes, and new recipes. To maintain control of the process and plan for inevitable changes, consider implementing a master system that can be updated easily or working with a partner who can do it for you.


What's News in the Food Label Community

New FDA nutrition labeling regulations timing update: March 2016 (9+ comments)

Master carton food labeling (10+ comments)

Deep fried food nutrition analysis (13+ comments)

Calorie content of polyols in nutrition analysis (8+ comments)

Omega-3 food label claims (9+ comments)

Join Food Label Community. Already a member, view Discussions.

Reader Q&A

Find answers to our readers' questions or send us your question for an upcoming issue.

Q.

Our Supplement Facts Label shows Sodium 180 mg/serving and Potassium 420 mg/serving. The actual test results are Sodium 147 mg/serving and Potassium - 399 mg/serving. Do we have an issue?  
E.G., California, Nutraceutical Company 

A.

It depends if these nutrients are naturally-occurring or added by fortification. FDA has different regulatory requirements for Class I (fortified) and Class II (naturally-occurring) nutrients. Read more.


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