In our March newsletter, we answer some of the common questions we’re hearing about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s upcoming deadline (now postponed to an undetermined date) for nutrition labeling on restaurant menus. If you missed our newsletter, you can find it here, and we’ve included those FAQs for you below, too.

Q: What Exactly Is the FDA Requiring?
A: Multi-location restaurants with 20 or more locations will be required to post calorie information for all standard menu items. The information must appear on menu boards and handheld menus. These same restaurants must also provide a full nutritional analysis for customers upon request.

Q: What Is the Deadline?fda-logo
A: For some time now, the deadline date keeps getting pushed back. Stay tuned for a firm date.

Q: Hasn’t the FDA Tried, and Failed, to Enforce This Rule Before?
A: Yes, it’s true. The FDA has been working on enforcing this regulation for years, but it looks as though things will go into effect this year.

Q: Why Is the FDA Pursuing This Change?
A: According to the FDA, Americans consume 1/3 of their calories away from home. It’s believed that if consumers have easy access to nutrition facts in restaurants (like they do in grocery stores) that consumers will make healthier food and drink choices.

Stephanie Mattfeld Beaudette M.Ed., RDNQ: How Can Food & Drink Resources Assist Restaurants with Labeling Requirements?
A: FDR has an in-house dietitian/nutritionist, Stephanie Beaudette, who is equipped and experienced in labeling for both restaurants and food manufacturers. She has more than 20 years experience as a registered dietitian and has a savvy ability to make ingredient substitutions when it is in your best interest.

Q: How Does Analysis Work?
Using a combination of USDA and regulatory compliant food databases, along with industry best practices, Stephanie and the FDR chefs will analyze all of the ingredients of your recipes to determine all nutrition facts and provide that information to you in FDA-approved format.

Q: What Happens After the Analysis?
A: Once you have determined calorie content and all nutrition facts for your dishes, two things will need to happen. 1) You’ll need to assess the nutrition facts from a sales and marketing perspective. If you think calorie content will negatively impact sales, it’s time to consider a recipe re-development. 2) You will need to re-create all menu signs and menu boards to include calorie content.

Q: Does FDR Do Recipe Re-Development?
A: Yes, recipe development and re-development is one of our specialties. We are also equipped to do on-the-spot consumer research to ensure the new recipe will satisfy your target customers tastes.

Q: How Long Does This Process Take?
A: Anywhere from two to six months depending on what you need.

Q: How Do We Get Started?
A: Request a bid!