WASHINGTON - Late Friday afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its proposed rules implementing the menu labeling provisions of last year's health-care reform law. These provisions, though not widely publicized, could have a substantial impact on convenience stores. The entire proposal is available on the FDA€™s website.
Among other things, they require restaurants and "similar retail food establishments" that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations to provide calorie and other nutrition information for standard menu items, including self-service food and food on display. Entities not covered by the law may choose to voluntarily become subject to the federal requirements by registering with the FDA.
FDA's recently released proposed rules take some of NACS' comments into account, but do not adequately consider others. Many portions of FDA's proposal, including what types of retail establishments are covered by the rules, remain uncertain. NACS is analyzing the proposed rules and will work to minimize the ultimate regulatory impact on convenience stores.
Following a 60-day public comment period the FDA is expected to issue a final rule sometime this year. At this time NACS believes that the rules will not be enforced until sometime in 2012.
Questions may be directed to Julie Fields, NACS director of government relations.