by Michael Kaiser
A common practice of federal agencies is to make announcements at the close of the business day on a Friday. The Food and Drug Administration did just that this past Friday, when they announced their final guidance on chain restaurant menu labeling. As we have been reporting on over the last year, alcohol is included in the menu labeling requirements for establishments of 20 or more locations of the same brand. (see our latest update here) The FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act that was passed at the end of last year delayed the implementation of menu labeling rule until one year after FDA published their final guidance on the rule. With the publication expected in the Federal Register as early as next week, the final rule on menu labeling will be implemented in May 2017.
Of note to alcohol producers is the adoption of TTB calculated calorie content and nutritional information. That is, a covered establishment (a Red Lobster, Olive Garden, etc) can refer to the USDA database to determine the calorie content of the beverage. The USDA calculation is based on the alcohol content of the product. When listing the product on the menu, it is based on the way the product is served at the restaurant. If it is a wine served by the glass, the content of the 5 ounce (standard serving size) is what needs to be listed. If if by the bottle, the restaurant has the option to state the total caloric content of the bottle, or per the recommended serving size.
We must stress, the burden of acquiring the information for the menu is on the covered establishment and not the producer. If a restaurant is asking a winery for the information, the winery can refer the restaurant to the USDA database and no product testing is required.
To view the final FDA guidance on menu labeling, please visit this page.
Questions? Contact Michael Kaiser, Director of Public Affairs, email@example.com.
WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations. As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy