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Volume 12, Number 5 - May 2011

Greetings from Food Label News. Spring abounds. It’s a fresh season of news including the beginning stages of rulemaking for restaurateurs and vending machine operators. This month you will also read a practical case study about how a restaurant chain keeps its nutrition information current and compliant. If you’d like your company to be showcased in this case study program, please review the criteria. As always, we welcome your comments and discussion in the Food Label Community on LinkedIn. Enjoy.

In this issue you'll find:

Karen C. Duester, President


"Everything was perfect, and your group is a dream to work with."

– Joe Petrella, 
Famiglia-DeBartolo Famous Famiglia Pizza



Restaurants and Vending Machines to Serve Up New Nutrition Information

Over the past several years the proliferation of state and local regulations has resulted in many inconsistencies that have been challenging for restaurateurs and consumers alike. This inconsistency together with health care reform has led FDA to release two proposed rules on April 6, 2011, to standardize the way restaurants and vending machines provide nutrition information in the U.S.

The proposed rule for restaurants and similar food establishments will require restaurants and food service facilities with 20+ locations (same name regardless of ownership) to disclose calories and nutrition information. The proposed rule for vending machines will require the operators to provide calorie information in close proximity to the selection button for each food item.

FDA seeks comments on specific topics outlined in the proposed rules. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments for the proposed rule affecting restaurants by June 6, 2011. Comments for the proposed rule affecting vending machines are due by July 5, 2011.

After this comment period, FDA will finalize rules and provide a timeline for required industry compliance. According to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform), compliance will be required within six months after publication of final rules. More.

  Keeping You Current

2nd Genesis Training scheduled with IFT: registration now open

FDA Releases Strategic Priorities 2011-2015

Front-of-Pack labeling discussed at industry meeting

"Hidden" Allergens & Canada's New Regulations
(requires LinkedIn account)

Join Food Label Community
for a discussion of the news

From the Archive

Health Care Reform Puts the Spotlight on Restaurant Menus

Restaurateurs and vending machine operators who are not subject to the requirements of the act (have fewer than 20 locations) are offered voluntary participation through an FDA registration process. We expect most small establishments and operators to comply with FDA rules. As nutrition information becomes more commonplace in all purchasing venues, it is a smart business choice to provide it for consumers.

Ever-changing Menus Stay Current & Compliant: A Case Study

An established chain of casual bakery cafes with 60 locations across the country needed to ensure that their menus and product packaging were compliant with new FDA food labeling regulations for restaurants and food service. The goal was to ensure that frequently changing menus and new products were 100% compliant, despite unique state-by-state regulations that required special considerations.

Staying abreast of an ever-changing menu takes continual care and attention to detail. Learn about the challenges this chain of food service cafes faced and their approach to making a complicated process easy in this case study.

Reader Q&A

Find answers to our readers' questions or send us your question for an upcoming issue.


For our Frozen Italian Dessert, can we refer to this collection of ingredients as "chocolate coating": sugar, palm oil, cocoa powder and soy lecithin?
M.M., California, Established Food Company


No. You would need to identify the above ingredients as "chocolate flavored coating" since the standard of identity for sweet chocolate (21CFR163.123) is not met. The key difference in your ingredients and those of standardized chocolate is the use of palm oil instead of cocoa butter. Read more.

At Your Service

Food Consulting Company, founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support to ensure 100% compliance with FDA regulations. With well over 1,000 clients worldwide, we’re pleased to provide information to address your food labeling needs.

We value our relationships and are working to stay connected. To build your network, we invite you to connect with us via LinkedIn and while you’re there, join the Food Label Community.

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