This morning, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor announced that FDA is extending the compliance date for the menu labeling rules one year, making the new compliance date December 1, 2016.  Since finalizing the menu labeling rules in December of 2014, FDA states that it “has had extensive dialogue with chain restaurants, covered grocery stores and other covered businesses, and answered numerous questions on how the rule can be implemented in specific situations.”  Certainly, businesses impacted by the rule have been grappling with the substance and logistics of implementing the menu labeling rules, including working with suppliers to obtain additional information about products.  This alone can be a tricky proposition for items like alcohol and craft beers, where nutritional information required by the menu labeling rules is not always readily available.  The extension will allow all parties impacted by the menu labeling rules – a group of businesses that extends far beyond just restaurants – additional time to devise implementation and compliance strategies.

FDA has also announced that it intends to issue additional draft guidance on the menu labeling rules in August of 2015.  This guidance will supplement previous guidance from FDA in sources such as the final rule and the small business compliance guide. Stay tuned to the Digest for an analysis of this new guidance once it is issued.