Menus Are Being Affected

Effective earlier this month, New York City became the first city in the US to require chain restaurants to identify high-sodium items on their menus. The New York city health commissioner explained the initiative is health related-  too much sodium can lead to various chronic ailments. How this will impact chain restaurants and menu entrees will be interesting to watch unfold.

More Proposals for Nutrition Facts Panels

And earlier this summer, the FDA issued a supplement proposal on Sugars to expand on the 2014 Nutrition Facts Panel labeling changes proposals. The FDA proposes a Daily Value (DV) % for added sugars set at 10% of total calorie intake. FDA has stated they considered scientific data for the proposal, citing links between lower sugar-sweetened foods consumption with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Added sugars was already a hot topic in the labeling proposals and no doubt, this now adds considerable more questions from industry.

Regulations and Proposals - The List Goes On

From food nutrition labeling to menu entree labeling, the list of proposed and new initiatives goes on. Some of these initiatives are still in the proposal stages (Nutrition & Supplement Facts Panel Proposal) and some now have compliance dates set (Menu Labeling Regulations). And the list goes on - have I mentioned GMO-free labeling initiatives in the works, or the proposed rule for Gluten-free labeling of fermented or hydrolyzed products?

Navigating the Sometimes Confusing Landscape

With all the myriad of legalese to review, it’s no surprise many companies, large multinationals and small business owners, are finding it overwhelming. Many don’t know where or how to start or even understand how the regulations may impact them. The information out there is vast but can be confusing to navigate for even the most savvy researcher. For many, it may be tempting to bury heads in the sand while it all plays out. But those regulations are coming, in some form or shape and coming soon to a company near you, maybe yours. A better plan is to prepare, prepare, prepare. Start developing a plan of attack. Identify what products will fall under the regulations, start gathering and organizing documentation. For some, that may mean working with your suppliers to gather it. For others, it may mean performing analytical testing to gather data that may not exist. For many, it may mean reaching out to qualified professionals to provide consultation on where to start.

It's going to be an interesting ride making sense of all the labeling initiatives. But what we all should know is that they’re coming, and here to stay. But you won't be alone on that ride.

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Posted in Recent By Hugo Hernandez