April 14, 2023

Menu labeling regulations are coming back

Operators have until Nov. 7 to be back in compliance with rules
An upmarket take away shop/deli
On May 11, the COVID public health emergency declaration will expire and with it the suspension of menu-labeling enforcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a Federal Register notice, the FDA announced operators will have 180 days – or until Nov. 7, 2023 – to again meet labeling requirements.

Earlier this week, President Biden signed a bill ending the national COVID emergency. This does not impact the expiration of the national public health emergency in May.

What to know about the regulations

The menu labeling regulations require restaurant chains with 20 or more locations with the same name to provide calorie content on menus, menu boards, and other point-of-sale materials and make other nutrition information available in writing on request. The FDA encouraged operators to continue to comply with the menu-labeling rules during the coronavirus health crisis but have not been enforcing the requirements. 

Where to get more information

The FDA has resources to help operators understand these requirements. The agency’s online education module explains which establishments and foods are covered by the menu labeling regulations and how best to comply. The FDA also published two fact sheets on menu labeling and declaring calories. Additionally, the FDA has an industry Q&A to help stakeholders and restaurant owners better understand the nutrition labeling requirements. The industry Q&A provides questions and answers on the menu and vending machine labeling requirements. The National Restaurant Association is working with the FDA to understand and educate operators about how the end of the national public health emergency could impact them. If operators have specific questions for the FDA regarding these policies, they can be sent to Operators can also reach out to Laura Abshire or Maggie Gentile at the National Restaurant Association with any additional questions.