FDA Releases Menu and Vending Machine Calorie Labeling Rules

About one-third of calories taken in by Americans are consumed away from home, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). With this in mind, the FDA recently imposed two finalized rules that require calorie information to be listed on restaurant and other retail food chains’ menu boards and menus as well as vending machines.

These two FDA finalized rules are:

  • Vending Machine Rule: Operators who operate or own 20 vending machines or more are required to show calorie information on food items sold from their healthy vending machines under the “Calorie Labeling of Articles in Vending Machines” final rule.
  • Menu Labeling Rule: Restaurants and other types of retail food chains (20 or more same-name locations) are required to disclose nutrition and calorie information on their menu boards and menus under the “Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments” final rule.

As a business with a healthy vending machine option for your customers, it is important that you adhere to this rule. The reason behind the FDA rule for vending machines is to enable consumers to have access to consistent and clear nutrition information so they are able to make a healthy and informed choice on their vending machine food items.

In general, this final rule applies to vending machines that sell:

  • packaged snacks
  • soft drinks
  • refrigerated prepared food
  • cold-and-hot cup beverages
  • handfuls of candies or nuts

Unless calorie information is visible already (disclosed on the front of the package), there needs to be a sign posted such as a sticker, small placard, poster, digital or electronic display next to food product or on the selection button of the vending machine. There are also rules regarding color and size of font and background contrast color to ensure calorie information visibility.

Contact Sun Vending today, if you’re looking to add a healthy vending machine or beverage machine to your office.

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