Menu Labeling Has Arrived

Menu Labeling Has Arrivedby Betsy Craig, CEO, MenuTrinfo

Menu Labeling Has Arrived
Betsy Craig, CEO, MenuTrinfo

After 4 years and 8 months, the long-awaited menu labeling regulations have been pushed through Capitol Hill. In this edition we will guide you to understand who it will affect and what the full regulation includes.

We have known for some time that this legislation will require restaurants with 20 or more locations to include calorie information on menus and provide additional nutrition information upon request. Today’s announcement, however, clarifies a few additional requirements that had been under much discussion.  Most importantly:

The definition of a similar retail food establishment:  The FDA has adopted a broad definition of a similar retail food establishment and defined “restaurant type foods” as “food that is usually eaten on the premises, while walking away, or soon after arriving at another location.” Specific examples of restaurant-type foods covered, when offered by a chain with 20 or more locations, include:

  • Meals from sit-down restaurants
  • Foods purchased at drive-through windows
  • Take-out food, such as pizza
  • Foods, such as made-to-order sandwiches, ordered from a menu or menu board at a grocery store or delicatessen
  • Foods you serve yourself from a salad or hot food bar at a restaurant or grocery store
  • A muffin at a bakery or coffee shop
  • Popcorn purchased at a movie theater or amusement park
  • A scoop of ice cream, milk shake or sundae from an ice cream store

NEW: Alcoholic beverages:  Alcoholic beverages that are standard menu items and are listed on a menu or a menu board will be covered. The majority of comments supported covering alcohol due to impacts on public health. In some instances, information may be presented in ranges for beer and wine rather than for each specific offering.

NEW: Compliance standard:  FDA has indicated restaurants and similar retail food establishments need to have a “reasonable basis” for their claim.

NEW: Implementation deadline:  December 1, 2015.  This gives covered establishments one year to comply.

NEW Pizza information below

Thanks to my friend at Darden for some of the above info.

Pizza Pizza……….Looks like the FDA wants to make one of America’s favorite past times, having a slice, continue without the nutritional nightmare of labeling beyond what is reasonable.

Included in the 395 page document released today states that pizza will be labeled by the slice not the whole pie. “Made other adjustments such as ensuring the flexibility for multi-serving dishes like pizza to be labeled by the slice rather than as a whole pie.”

That’s a win for pizza owners everywhere.  MenuTrinfo® has worked at length with many of the top brands in the industry as partners in nutrition. We have seen all of the owners concerns; telling the truth and not being misleading while at the same time not making people think they would eat the calories for an entire 18″ pizza.  Pizza being “judged by ounces not inches” will make all the difference in the world to restaurateurs and consumers alike.

What nutritional information needs to be labeled?
Menu Labeling Has ArrivedIdentifying nutritional information is on the regulation, as seen in the nutritional chart above you can see what needs to be included. These are often referred to as the “core 13” If you are nervous about what your numbers are going to look like, we are here for you. Our culinary nutritionists can consult with your chefs and give advice on how to make the numbers more desirable.

**All information shown here is based of sample recipes and is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the nutritional advice provided by your own physician or other health professional.

For more information, please visit