Are You Staying on Top of Regulations that Affect Your Restaurant?

A recent change in regulations predicted to arrive soon is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will release a national menu labeling standard for chain restaurants. The standard will address calorie and nutritional information required on menus and at point of sale.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) explains the relevance of the new standard for restaurant owners. The new menu label standard is covered by the 2010 health care law. This federal law takes priority over state and local rules and limits a restaurant’s legal liability. The new standard will only apply to chain restaurants operating in 20 or more locations under the same brand name. Restaurants the new standards apply to will have a six month grace period once the standard is officially released before having to comply.

The NRA has worked closely in collaboration with regulators to protect restaurant owners who are making good-faith efforts to comply so they are not subjected to penalties for human errors or reasonable fluctuations in ingredients or service sizes. Also, restaurants are allowed the freedom to present easily understood nutritional information to consumers in their own way.

Through a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Health Policy, the NRA indicates restaurant chains have reduced calories in many of their menu items, providing consumers with healthier choices. The study reviewed more than 60 large chain restaurants. Statistics showed a 12 percent drop in calories in 2013 menu items over 2012 menu items. These efforts on the part of restaurants show a willingness to comply with regulations that promote health and wellness, which is also the purpose in the upcoming menu standards for consumer nutritional information.

Do you have questions about meeting restaurant regulatory rules? Stephan Hans & Associates advises businesses and helps them implement regulations. The firm also represents employers in disputes with regulatory agencies. We are a well-established employment litigation firm located in Long Island City, Queens and our employment litigation experience dates back to 1979.

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