/ Menu labeling, Nutrition

May 7th is just one calendar page flip away. That’s the deadline for menu labeling compliance and it should have a big red circle around it. If you haven’t started the process, it’s time to get moving.
stressed out about menu labeling
Here’s what you need to know:
The Menu Labeling Law requires establishments with 20 or more locations that have similar menu items and operate under the same name to comply with the Menu Labeling Final Rule. This includes franchises, full-service restaurants and fast food eateries; take-out and delivery establishments; bakeries, coffee shops and bars; and entertainment venues such as movie theaters and amusement parks. Keep in mind that in addition to food, alcoholic beverages fall under this rule if they are listed on the menu, and their calorie counts must be included.
The FDA’s rounding rules can be a bit tricky, which is why working with MenuTrinfo for menu labeling makes this process so much easier. Our proprietary data base has more than 10,000 custom ingredients,  along with data from the USDA ensuring your menu labeling is accurate and complete. If you modify a recipe or add new items, we can easily update the information.
Calorie counts must be available on all menu formats. For instance, if you provide the menu on a website or mobile app alongside paper menus, drive-through displays, menu boards and self-service items (think salad and hot food bars), make sure each version has calorie counts.

Photo Credit: Menu & Prices For Concessions –  AMC Menu Prices – Menu World

And don’t forget the additional mandatory statements that need to appear on all menu formats. “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary” and “Additional nutrition information is available upon request.” If you offer extensive child-friendly items, you might want to include the optional disclaimers, “1,200 to 1,400 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice for children ages 4 to 8 years and 1,400 to 2,000 calories a day for children ages 9 to 13 years, but calorie needs vary.”
What if you have complicated menu items? For instance, you offer an item with a choice of a side of salad, or fries. That would be formatted as 460/670 calories. If three or more options are available, a calorie range (460-740 calories) is sufficient.
Some foods do not need to be included, even if your establishment meets all the compliance criteria. Menu labeling exemptions include condiments at the table or available for “general use,” custom-ordered items, market test items that are available for fewer than 90 consecutive days or limited-time offers (LTOs) that are offered for fewer than 60 total days in any calendar year (consecutive and non-consecutive), and daily specials.
Formatting matters. Under the Menu Labeling Law, the font used for calorie counts cannot be smaller than the font size used for the name or price for specific items. If a customer requests additional nutrition information, it must be available in a written or digital format at each location.
menu labeling alarm clock
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. MenuTrinfo is here to help with all your menu labeling and nutrition information needs. But you’d better get started NOW. The clock is ticking.