As a restaurant owner, you know how important it is to provide your customers with delicious and satisfying meals. However, you may not be aware of the menu nutrition labeling requirements set forth by the FDA CFR21 guidelines. These guidelines are in place to help consumers make informed choices about what they eat, and it’s important that your restaurant comply with them. In this article, we will take a closer look at menu nutrition labeling requirements based on the FDA CFR21 guidelines and what you need to do to comply.
What is Menu Nutrition Labeling?
Menu labeling refers to the practice of providing nutritional information about the food items on a restaurant menu. This information includes the number of calories, the amount of fat, sodium, sugar, and other nutrients present in the food. Menu labeling is a requirement for restaurants with 20 or more locations, and it is meant to help consumers make informed choices about their food.
Why is Menu Labeling Important?
Menu labeling is important for several reasons. First, it helps consumers make informed choices about what they eat. By providing nutritional information about the food on your menu, you are empowering your customers to make healthier choices. This is especially important for individuals with dietary restrictions or health concerns, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Even if you do not have 20 restaurants in your company, most consumers have a heightened awareness of calories, fat and added sugars – including accurate serving sizes. Providing this information, regardless of the nutrition analysis, can be a competitive advantage and give customers confidence due to your transparency.
Second, menu labeling is a requirement under the FDA CFR21 guidelines. Failure to comply with these guidelines can result in fines and legal action against your restaurant. Compliance with menu labeling requirements is important for the reputation of your restaurant and can help you avoid any legal trouble down the line.
What Are the Menu Labeling Requirements Based on the FDA CFR21 Guidelines?
The menu nutrition labeling requirements based on the FDA CFR21 guidelines are as follows:
- Menu nutrition labeling is required for restaurants with 20 or more locations.
- The menu must list the number of calories for each food item.
- The menu must list the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, and protein for each food item.
- The information must be displayed clearly and prominently on the menu.
- The information must be accurate and based on laboratory testing or other reliable methods.
How Can You Comply with Menu Labeling Requirements?
Complying with menu nutrition labeling requirements is relatively easy. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your restaurant is in compliance:
- Obtain nutritional information about the food on your menu. You can do this by consulting with a registered dietitian or by using software that calculates nutritional information.
- Display the nutritional information clearly and prominently on your menu. This can be done by listing the information next to each food item or by providing a separate nutritional information menu.
- Train your staff on menu labeling requirements. They should be able to answer any questions customers may have about the nutritional information on the menu.
- Review your menu labeling information regularly to ensure accuracy. If you make any changes to your menu, be sure to update the nutritional information accordingly.
Menu nutrition labeling requirements based on the FDA CFR21 guidelines are in place to help consumers make informed choices about what they eat. Compliance with these guidelines is important for the reputation of your restaurant and can help you avoid legal trouble down the line. By providing nutritional information on your menu and training your staff on menu nutrition labeling requirements, you can ensure that your restaurant is in compliance and that your customers are able to make healthier choices.
Be sure to check with your local laws regarding changes from the federal guidelines. RL Food Testing has helped restaurants cross the country with their nutrition analysis – give us a call to see hwo we can help you!