Monday, December 1, 2014

The FDA Expands Their Regulations on Displaying Nutrition Information

Things are always changing in the food industry, especially when it comes to “fast food.” Many people consider this term to be directed toward major chains like McDonalds, Burger King, Carls Jr. and many others that aren’t named. In this specific niche of the food industry there have recently been a lot of changes in regards to nutrition information and public health. For this reason under the Affordable Care Act there is a little known provision that states all fast food places (bakeries, coffee shops, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, etc.) that have 20 or more locations (as a company not as a franchise owner) will be required to post and list “clearly and conspicuously” the calorie counts of each item by November of 2015. This is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s way of making sure that people know what they are putting in their mouths.

It may come as a surprise but local grocery stores that have in store and take out dining will also be required to post the calorie counts of the fast foods they are selling. This includes the fruits and salads you have access to at the fruit and salad bar areas of the store. But, under this provision the stores are require to list the calorie content for the “raw” cut fruit in the salad but not for the whole fruit sold in the produce section. To make it simple, anything sold in stores, restaurants, cafes, etc., that are prepared for immediate individual consumption are required to have the calorie content listed clearly and conspicuously. Exempt from this Act are meals served on trains, airplanes, or food trucks.

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