F.D.A. requesting input regarding menu labeling

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has released additional information intended to assist food service operators in complying with pending federal nutrition labeling requirements that will affect food service and vending operations with more than 20 locations. The information comes in the form of draft guidance for which the agency is seeking comments.

The draft guidance describes implementation of several provisions within the federal law. Businesses covered by the regulations will be required to post the number of calories for standard menu items on menus and menu boards, providing additional nutrition information in writing, and posting on menus that such information is available upon request.

The F.D.A. states in the draft guidance that the food service industry may need additional time to comply with the new regulations and that the agency plans to refrain from enforcement for a time period to be determined. As part of the comment period, the F.D.A. is seeking input on the appropriate length of the grace period.

The F.D.A. opened the comment period for the new regulations on July 7, 2010, and interested parties have 60 days from that date to submit comments. Comments may be submitted electronically by visiting www.regulations.gov, entering the docket number FDA-2010-N-0298 and selecting “Search.”
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