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Preparing for Change

By: Nicole Reed, Communications Manager, MenuMax

Are you ready for the new menu labeling law requirements? Almost one year ago on March 23, 2010 President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 into law. Upon enactment, this federal law sets the requirements for nutritional labeling of food items at chain restaurant establishments, and will preempt all state and local laws. Section 4205 of the law states that chain restaurants, food retail establishment, and vending machines with 20 or more locations under the same trade name (regardless of ownership) must provide consumers with nutrition labeling information. Operators with less than 20 locations may choose to participate as well.

The law goes on to describe exactly what information must be provided to the consumer and how. Two items from the law could pose a particular challenge to restaurants.

1. “Display on menus and menu boards, including drive-through

menu boards, the number of calories next to the listing for each

standard menu item.”

2. “Make a prominent, clear, and conspicuous statement on

the menu or menu board about the availability of additional written nutrition information.”

In order to comply with this section of the law and provide customers with the correct information, restaurants must first conduct nutrition analysis on all of their ingredients and recipes. This can become a project that many establishments are not equipped to handle. One program that turns this arduous task into an easy one is MenuMax. With MenuMax users can obtain detailed nutrition analysis on all of their recipes based on the latest ESHA Nutrient Data and USDA SR23.

Not only are chain restaurants required to display caloric values of menu items, but section 4205 of the law requires that additional nutrition information such as such as saturated fat, carbohydrate, and sodium content, must also be made available in written form upon request as well. With MenuMax, user’s can match their ingredients and recipes with out nutrient database and create their very own nutrition label for each menu item. Thus eliminating the hassle of creating a entirely new form by hand.

The Food and Drug Administration has opened docket FDA-2010-N-0298 for comments and suggestions on this new law. Though these requirements are not expected to take effect until the FDA finalizes its regulation many establishments are choosing to get a head start. In just a little over a week on March 23, 2011 the FDA is requires to submit proposed regulations to carry out the new law. By providing the most accurate single-recipe and full-menu nutritional values, MenuMax can help you meet consumer demands and comply with menu labeling laws. Check us out today!

For more information how MenuMax can get you ready for the new menu labeling requirements call us at 1-877-Menu-Max, e-mail, visit us online

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