//Digital Menu Boards and The Latest on Nutritional Guidelines

Digital Menu Boards and The Latest on Nutritional Guidelines

As most QSRs and food service vendors are well aware, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has established guidelines for nutritional information on menu boards and the date that the ACA is put into law has been moved a few times. After a long process of review, question, and response between the public, the food service industry, the FDA and Federal Resister over the details of guidelines, a new date has been announced. The latest deadline for compliance is May 7th 2018.

At Allure, we are well versed in the details of the new laws and our customers’ deployments are prepared to assist customers with interpretation and application of FDA regulations to current and future menus board.

Here are the highlights of the law:

  • The law impacts any restaurant or similar retail food establishment that is a part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name (regardless of the type of ownership, e.g., individual franchises) and offering for sale substantially the same menu items
  • The menu labeling requirements apply to standard menu items and exclude condiments, self-service food and food on display that is offered for sale for less than a total of 60 days per calendar year or fewer than 90 consecutive days in order to test consumer acceptance.
  • The numbers of calories contained in each standard menu item listed on the menu or menu board, should reflect the number of calories as usually prepared and offered for sale.
  • In the case of multiple-serving standard menu items, this means the calories declared must be for the whole menu item listed on the menu or menu board as usually prepared and offered for sale (e.g., “pizza pie: 1600 cal”); or per discrete serving unit as long as the discrete serving unit (e.g., pizza slice) and total number of discrete serving units contained in the menu item are declared on the menu or menu board, and the menu item is usually prepared and offered for sale divided in discrete serving units (e.g., “pizza pie: 200 cal/slice, 8 slices”). The calories must be declared in the following manner:
  • The number of calories must be listed adjacent to the name or the price of the associated standard menu item, in a type size no smaller than the type size of the name or the price of the associated standard menu item, whichever is smaller, in the same color, or a color at least as conspicuous as that used for the name of the associated standard menu item, and with the same contrasting background or a background at least as contrasting as that used for the name of the associated standard menu item.
  • Calories may be rounded to the nearest 5-calorie increment up to and including 50 calories and to the nearest 10-calorie increment above 50 calories. For menu items less than 5 calories, the calorie count may be expressed as zero.
  • The term “Calories” or “Cal” must appear as a heading above a column listing the number of calories for each standard menu item or adjacent to the number of calories for each standard menu item. If the term “Calories” or “Cal” appears as a heading above a column of calorie declarations, the term must be in a type size no smaller than the smallest type size of the name or price of any menu item on that menu or menu board in the same color or a color at least as conspicuous as that used for that name or price and in the same contrasting background or a background at least as contrasting as that used for that name or price. If the term “Calories” or “Cal” appears adjacent to the number of calories for the standard menu item, the term “Calories” or “Cal” must appear in the same type size and in the same color and contrasting background as the number of calories.

In addition to calories labels, one of the following statements should prominently appear on the menu board, in a type and size no smaller than the smallest type size of any calorie declaration on the same menu board:

  • “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.”
  • For menu boards targeted to children: “1,200 to 1,400 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice for children ages 4 to 8 years, but calorie needs vary.” or “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.”

If you’re not yet leveraging digital menu boards, consider going digital to help you through the menu regulations and allow you to quickly and easily add or remove calories from your menu boards. If you are utilizing digital, make sure your partner understands the FDA menu regulations and can help guide you through the specific law and requirements.

Source: CFR-2017-title21-vol2-sec101-11

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2017-title21-vol2/xml/CFR-2017-title21-vol2-sec101-11.xml

By | 2017-12-20T11:02:54+00:00 December 20th, 2017|

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