Do Restaurants Legally Have to Share Nutrition Information About Their Food Items?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration passed a statute on Dec. 1, 2014, that requires all restaurants with 20 or more locations to publish nutrition information. Restaurants have until Dec. 1, 2016, to comply with this statute, according to the FDA's website.

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Do Restaurants Legally Have to Share Nutrition Information About Their Food Items?
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Full Answer

Other establishments covered by this statute include food purchased at drive-through windows, take-out food, made-to-order food at delicatessens, pastries sold at coffee shops and food sold at movie theaters. Restaurants and other food establishments can voluntarily comply with this statute if they have fewer than 20 locations, and food trucks have exemption from the statute, according to the FDA.

The FDA estimates that Americans eat one-third of their calories away from home and requires that restaurants and other food establishments post calorie information so consumers can make informed choices. The statute requires that establishments display calorie information on menus and menu boards clearly and prominently. The size of the calorie declaration may not be smaller than the menu item's title or price. Establishments must provide other nutrition information in writing when requested by a customer. This information includes total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber, protein and total fat. Establishments must also post in menus and on menu boards that customers can request this information, according to the FDA.

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