NACS Circulates Compliance Guide for Menu-Labeling Regs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) finalized rules on menu labeling, NACS, the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, has released a summary and compliance guide to assist retailers.

According to NACS, many of the FDA's requirements are unclear in how they apply to convenience stores, partially because the law was designed primarily for chain restaurants and applying it to c-stores results in many complexities.

Released in November, the final rule applies to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items. Covered food establishments must clearly and conspicuously display caloric information for standard items on menus and menu boards next to the item, among other requirements.

The compliance guide includes an overview of the final regulations, but advises that compliance obligations and strategy be developed on a company-by-company and even store-by-store basis. It provides fact-based answers to questions regarding businesses covered by the menu labeling rule and what food counts as "restaurant-type" food. It also discusses c-stores with a restaurant or other business inside the location; how calorie information must be presented; what exceptions exist; and more.

The full compliance guide is available here.

NACS said it hopes to work with relevant federal officials to obtain guidance and clarification on certain aspects of the menu labeling rule in the coming months. The association also plans to continue working with members of Congress to pass legislation that limits the rule's coverage to businesses that sell restaurant-type food as their primary activity.

The finalized rules go into effect Dec. 1.

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