A new regulation on fast food restaurants was released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 1, 2014. The rule was based on section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is designed to improve the nation’s health. In this regard, the FDA has developed a menu-labeling program that will require fast-food restaurants to post calories, nutrition information, and calorie-related statements on their standard menu items.
Fast food restaurants are a major business in the United States, serving millions of consumers every day. This has led to increased obesity rates among Americans. However, the current nutrition regulations have not yet had much of an impact on dietary choices.
In 2010, Congress passed a law to require chain restaurants to post calorie counts and other nutrition information on their menus. Restaurants in chains of 20 or more locations are required to display this information. During the first year of implementation, the FDA will work cooperatively with covered establishments to ensure that these rules are being implemented. Some states have already adopted laws that will require similar rules for their local restaurants.
For restaurants to meet these requirements, they will have to redesign their menus. They will also have to analyze the nutritional content of their menu items. Ultimately, this will require the restaurants to expend a great deal of effort to comply with the regulations.
Before the regulation goes into effect, restaurants have a six-month window to make the necessary changes to their menus. However, this may not be enough time to completely overhaul their menus. After this period, they will be forced to implement additional changes.
Fast-food restaurants need to be very careful about how they prepare their foods and the surfaces they use. Employees should be trained in handling food safely and should wash their hands thoroughly. The FDA has developed a food-handling course that will teach employees how to prevent cross-contamination and other common causes of food-borne illnesses. Also, the workers must ensure that the temperatures of all of their food are appropriate and that they do not expose the food to bacteria or other contaminants.
The rule will not apply to foods sold in bulk stores or bottles of liquor that are kept behind bars. Likewise, the rule will not apply to the food served at school lunches. However, the final regulations may vary from the current proposals. These regulations will affect a variety of establishments, including fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and salad bars.
The FDA’s regulations are meant to protect the health of the US population, particularly with regards to the obesity epidemic. Moreover, they will also increase consumer awareness of the calories contained in the foods they purchase. When customers learn how many calories they are consuming, they will be more likely to choose lower-calorie meals.
As a result of these new regulations, a large number of fast-food restaurants will be required to change their menus and add calorie counts and other nutritional information. But there are a few issues that remain unresolved, such as how to enforce the new rules.