Thursday, April 1, 2010

Menu Labeling in the Health Care Reform Bill

Within all of the complicated and controversial new laws and regulations written in the US Health Care Reform Bill lies a national menu labeling law. The bill will affect all chain restaurants in the country with 20 or more location and will preempt all state and local menu labeling laws.

Of course I'm stoked that soon we won't have to worry about many different pocket laws and differing regulations across the country.

Here’s a little bit more about who will be affected and how:

Who is Affected?

Restaurants that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name (regardless of the type of ownership of the locations) and offering for sale substantially the same menu items.

What does not need to be Labeled:

Condiments or items offered for general use.
Specials/temporary items listed on the menu less than 60 days out of the calendar year.
Test items offered on the menu for less than 90 days out of the calendar year.
Custom orders

Menu Variability and Combination Meals: Regulations to be determined.

Enactment Date: With in one year, exact date to be determined.

The goal of the bill is to help people make better choices by providing them calorie counts at the point of purchase. The affect of these laws on a local level has been mixed.

Do you think we’ll see positive results nationally? If so how long will it take?


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