Restaurants have been given temporary flexibility on adhering to the Menu Label Law during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it recognizes the struggles restaurant operators are facing during this pandemic. Because menus have changed to takeout and delivery-only for restaurants, the law requiring calorie information on menus and menu boards has been relaxed.
According to the FDA website: “The policy is intended to remain in effect only for the duration of the public health emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including any renewals made by the HHS secretary.”
It takes time to test and calculate menu items. The federal government’s ruling acknowledges how operators have suddenly needed to change recipes in order to remain as an essential business in their communities.
The Menu Labeling Law, which became effective on May 7, 2018, applies to restaurants of 20 units or more operating under the same name with similar menu items. This primarily affected many chains and restaurant groups, although many smaller operations also made calorie and nutrition information available as a service to customers’ health concerns.