SGS Reports New US FDA Compliance Deadline for Menu Labeling Requirements

On 10 July 2015 the US FDA announced an extension to the “Nutritional Labeling of Standard Menu in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments” (1) that was published on 1 December 2014.

Fairfield, NJ, August 22, 2015 --( The new compliance date is 1 December 2016 (2). A small entity guide is expected to be published in August 2015 to help facilitate compliance.

Menu Labeling for Restaurant and Food Retailers

This rule helped to finalize the Menu Labeling Provisions of Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on 23 March 2010. (3) Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act became effective 23 March 2010, however some provisions required the FDA to issue final rules before they could be implemented. Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act amends Section 403 of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938.

The final rule requires restaurants and similar retail food outlets, including those in movie theatres and amusement park establishments, with 20 or more locations nationwide, doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items, to provide calorie information for standard menu items by the name or price of the item. “Seasonal menu items offered for sale as temporary menu items, daily specials and condiments for general use typically available on a counter or table are exempt from the labeling requirements.”(4) Certain alcoholic beverages are now also included in this rule, and their calorie content must be listed. Additionally, mixed dish items such as pizza will now be allowed more flexibility in declaring calorie content. For example, for pizza the calories per slice can be declared instead of the whole item. The US FDA has clarified that food purchased from a retail establishment that is typically intended for more than one person to eat and requires additional preparation before consumption, is not covered by this rule.

Nutrition Information on Request

Menu and menu boards are to include the statement “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.” (5) In addition, these companies are to provide, on consumer request, written nutrition information about total calories, total fat, calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, fiber, sugar and proteins.


(1) Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments, FDA - Office of the US Federal Register – December 2014 (

(2) Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Extension of Compliance Date, FDA, Office of the US Federal Register – July 2015 (

(3) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (

(4) FDA finalizes menu and vending machine calorie labeling rules, U.S. FDA – November 2014 (

(5) FDA Issues Final Menu and Vending Machine Labeling Requirements, U.S. FDA – November 2014 (

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS is committed to keeping readers informed of regulation news and developments. Leveraging a global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including food contaminant tests, audits, food label reviews (, certifications, inspections, and technical support. SGS continually invests in testing, capability, and state-of-the art technology to help clients reduce risk, improve food safety and quality.

For more information, please contact an SGS expert.


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.
SGS Consumer Testing Services
James Cook
+1 973 461 1493
Food Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager
SGS North America, Inc.