The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the publication of a new final guidance for industry: A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II (Menu Labeling Requirements in Accordance with 21 CFR 101.11).
This guidance is meant to be a resource that helps businesses to comply with the menu labeling final rule. It also answers many frequently asked questions the FDA has fielded to date. It differs from the draft guidance by providing additional examples and new or revised questions and answers on topics such as covered establishments, alcoholic beverages, catered events, mobile vendors, grab-and-go items, and record keeping requirements.
The FDA is committed to working flexibly and cooperatively with establishments covered by the menu labeling final rule and to providing educational and technical assistance for state, local, and tribal regulatory partners to support consistent compliance nationwide. After release of the guidance, the agency will continue to conduct webinars and will hold menu labeling workshops that focus on specific stakeholder needs. The FDA will announce more information about these workshops at a later date. Covered establishments can send questions on menu labeling requirements to CalorieLabeling@fda.hhs.gov.
Enforcement of the menu labeling final rule will begin one year from the date it is published in the Federal Register. That date is scheduled for some time in May 2016.