Restaurants, movie theatres and big box stores that serve food, like Costco and Target, will get an extra year to add calorie information to their menus.
In announcing the extension – to December, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the extra time is necessary “for the agency to provide further clarifying guidance to help facilitate efficient compliance across all covered businesses and for covered establishments to come into compliance with the final rule.”
How many calories in that slice of pizza?
Chains with 20 or more outlets are covered by the rule, which requires calorie counts to be listed where customers can easily see it. That pizza place you like? You’ll be able to find out how many calories are in each slice and how toppings change the calorie count. Even amusement parks and salad bars will have to list calories. Independent restaurants, bars, grocery stores, food and ice trucks and food served on airplanes are not covered by the rule.
Chain restaurants must list the information on menus or menu boards. Some prepared grocery store products are exempt.
The agency will release detailed guidance in August. "There will be an opportunity for comment on the draft guidance and the FDA will review any comments received as quickly as possible," it said.
Why the change?
The regulation is an attempt to combat the nation’s obesity epidemic by showing Americans how many calories they’re ingesting with the food choices they make.
The FDA has been working on the rules since 2010, when the Affordable Care Act required labels on restaurant food.
“We believe that the Food and Drug Administration has positively addressed the areas of greatest concern with the proposed regulations and is providing the industry with the ability to implement the law in a way that will most benefit consumers," the National Restaurant Association said in a statement.