Let’s say you’re craving a good ol’ fashioned PB&J and you glance at the nutrition facts panel of the bread of your choice. Then, you notice something a little strange. It states that one slice is 100 calories, but 2 slices is 190 calories. What kind of magic bread is this? Can my bowl of fettuccine alfredo decrease in calories as I add more noodles and sauce? Unfortunately, the answer is no. This “magic math” can be blamed on the rounding rules set by the FDA. Haven’t you ever wondered why everything you purchase from the store has such even numbers for all the nutrients? Now, with menu labeling, you’ll start to see similar numbers on menus.
So how does rounding work? Well, each nutrient: calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals has their own special rules for rounding. In rounding nutrients by the FDA rules, all manufacturers, and now restaurants, have the same standard for declaring their numbers. However, because these rules are very specific it is quite noticeable when rounding is not done correctly. This could lead to consumer inquiries or even the FDA questioning your numbers.
While the rounding rules are beneficial and help establish a sense of approximation with your numbers, it can still be a little annoying at times. Consider the earlier example with the bread. Imagine a guest at your establishment comes in for their favorite slice of pizza and notices that when they multiply their slice calories by how many slices are in the total, the numbers don’t add up. They may complain or they might ignore the discrepancy, but knowing that numbers are rounded will help you answer any concerns. Along with differences between the rounding, each nutrient also has a set insignificant amount. These amounts do not need to be declared and depending on the nutrient they could also be listed as a zero. For example, total fat is insignificant if it is less than .5 g per serving and can also be expressed as a zero.
FDA Guide HERE
So, what can you do? Memorize the rounding rules and go through each nutrient in each menu item? Guess what the number should round to and hope no one notices? No and absolutely not. Hire us to complete your nutrition analysis. MenuTrinfo uses a proprietary software that does the rounding for you. Yes, we do the rounding for you! Menu labeling can be stressful, but with MenuTrinfo as your partner you can cross one more thing off the worry list.
Call us today to see the other ways we can make menu labeling a breeze.