FDA said it will extend the enforcement date for the labeling rule a full year, giving all parties covered by the new rule until December 1, 2016 to prepare. In conversations with FDA, chain restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses that fall under the new rule asked for more time.
“FDA agrees additional 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,” said Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissions for foods and veterinary medicine.
FDA issued its final rule on menu labeling earlier this year. The rule requires food establishments with 20 or more locations to provide consumers with calorie and other nutrition information for standard menu items. The rule is primarily targeted at restaurants but many grocery stores, convenience stores, movie theaters, bakeries and coffee shops also fall under its jurisdiction.
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin said the organization is “encouraged that FDA’s commitment will give us more time to at least garner some clarity and answers without feeling rushed to make difficult business decisions in an attempt to comply by December 1, 2015 with regulations that are unclear.”