Sigh of relief for restaurants: FDA delays calorie counts on menus

Sigh of relief for restaurants: FDA delays calorie counts on menus

The FDA has delayed rules that would require chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus.

Calorie counts are probably coming eventually to restaurant menus across the country, but not for a little bit longer: the Food and Drug Administration has delayed those rules, which are mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

The rules would require businesses that have more than 20 locations to overhaul their menus and include calorie counts on them — a requirement that would include grocery stores that offer prepared foods, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The rules were first proposed back in April 2011 by the FDA, but it’s been mired in years of haggling. For example, Domino’s protested when the FDA proposed posting the calorie content for an entire pizza, but the company said it should be by slice.

Also, there are questions over whether the rules include local advertising flyers. And also, will burger flippers be held accountable if the food that winds up on the plate has a different caloric content than what is displayed?

There’s also concerns about the extreme costs that would result from the rules, with grocers guessing it would cost about $1 billion to label prepared food like fruit cups and sandwiches. It may cause some to simply stop selling them.

The Journal also cited a recent study that suggested that calorie labels don’t really have much of an effect on how many calories people end up consuming.

The problems had caused 32 U.S. senators to send a letter to the agency asking for a delay of a year.



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