Convenience stores will use the delay to work with the FDA for the ability to post calories in a centralized location
The Associated Press reports that calorie counts will continue being posted on some restaurant and foodservice operation menus and menu boards, even with a delay in the Food and Drug Administration’s menu-labeling rule. However, many convenience stores will use the delay to bring clarity to the government’s regulation.
“Retailers with many different and diverse business models have raised concerns about how the [menu-labeling] rule lacks flexibility to permit them to provide meaningful nutrition information to consumers given their type of business and different operations,” the FDA stated. “We have decided to extend the compliance date. The additional time will allow us to consider what opportunities there may be to address these fundamental and complex questions.”
Convenience stores applauded the delay and NACS will submit comments on the FDA’s interim final rule. In early April, NACS and the National Grocers Association submitted a petition to the FDA—which the agency specifically referenced in the interim final rule—asking the FDA to delay the final rule’s effective date.
Doug Kantor, NACS legal counsel, told the AP that the delay will give convenience stores much-needed time to work with the FDA for the option to post calories in a centralized location, rather than on signs adjacent to the items. For example, a sign with calorie information right by the self-serve coffee would be impractical, he said. “Every day, somebody’s going to knock over the sign, or someone’s going to spill coffee on it.”
Kantor told the AP that many convenience stores prefer to rollout calorie count information when the government’s menu-labeling rule is in fact, final.
Pizza chain Domino’s told the AP that it wants to remove language from the menu-labeling rule that would make stores criminally liable for incorrect information. “Do we think somebody’s going to go to jail for putting pepperoni on a pizza? Of course not,” Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre said, adding that such language should be removed from the final rule.