The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, as well as on certain vending machines. In announcing the finalization of the two rules, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. stated that “Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume. Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families.”
The rules were issued pursuant to requirements emanating from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The final rules were published Dec. 1, 2014, in the Federal Register and become effective on differing dates. The final rule for calorie disclosures on menus and menu boards will be codified at 21 CFR 101.11 and will go into effect Dec. 1, 2015, one year after publication. The final rule for calorie disclosures on vending machines will be codified at 21 CFR 101.8 and will go into effect two years from publication Dec. 1, 2016.