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    FDA Menu Labeling Compliance Date Moved to May 2018

    Comments on interim final rule are due July 3.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed a pre-publication version of an interim final rule that will move the compliance date of its final menu-labeling rule back a year to May 7, 2018.

    The FDA is also requesting comments on how it can reduce the regulatory burden on retailers; alternative approaches for labeling self-service foods; additional methods for providing calorie information aside from on the menu; and criteria for distinguishing between a menu and other information, such as ads.

    The interim final rule will be published May 4, with comments due 60 days later on July 3, according to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.

    "Retailers with many different and diverse business models have raised concerns about how the rule lacks flexibility to permit them to provide meaningful nutrition information to consumers given their type of business and different operations," the interim final rule states. "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…."

    On April 5, NACS and the National Grocers Association filed a petition with the FDA to delay the effective date of the menu-labeling rule, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    NACS stated that it applauds the delay and plans to submit comments on the interim final rule. According to the association, the FDA's regulations add unfair costs and compliance barriers to establishments with offerings that do not appear on a centralized "menu" board, and establishments that may have multiple coffee, frozen drink and food islands as opposed to the central ordering point in a traditional fast-food restaurant.

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