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FDA Extends Deadline for Food Purveyors to Display Calorie Counts

FDA Extends Deadline for Food Purveyors to Display Calorie Counts

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Calorie count labeling regulations, which came as an extension of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, apply to food retailers with 20 or more locations and extends beyond restaurants to any preparer of food including supermarkets, convenience stores, bakeries, movie theaters, pizzerias, amusement parks and coffee shops.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made the decision in 2014 regarding the compulsory display of calorie counts intending to fight the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and take into account that one third of a person’s daily calorie count is not eaten at home.  The initial deadline was set for December 2015, however food industry groups and the U.S. Congress have been pressuring the FDA to extend the deadline for implementation.

The FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, Michael Taylor, stated, “The FDA agrees additional time is necessary for the agency to provide further clarifying guidance.”  This statement was in response to questions from restaurants and grocery stores regarding how the calorie-posting rules would apply to their specific situations.  There are still questions about how the rule, written for the fast food industry, would be applied in a retail setting.

The agency assured they would post a draft guidance document in August 2015 to answer some of the frequently asked questions from the industry.  Food purveyors now have until December 1, 2016 to be in compliance with the menu-labeling law and the agency “will work flexibly and collaboratively with individual companies making a good-faith effort to comply with the law.”

Terry C. Moncrief - CPA, Partner Terry C. Moncrief, CPA, Partner
Team Leader, Restaurants and Food/Beverage
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Terry C. Moncrief - CPA, Partner

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