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Menu of the Day

July 24, 2017
The current unsettled status of restaurant menu labeling rules may be headed toward some form of resolution. FDA first promulgated a final federal menu labeling rule in December 2014 requiring that calorie information be posted on menu labeling boards in covered food retailers.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted 30 questions for stakeholder input regarding the establishment of a national disclosure requirement for identifying bioengineered foods and food ingredients. The legislation requiring the disclosure of bioengineered foods was enacted on July 29, 2016, and gave AMS two years to establish a national standard and the procedures necessary for implementation (see our LawFlash, New GMO Legislation Signed Into Law, for more information on the legislation). AMS is now seeking input from stakeholders in order to issue a proposed rule this fall, such that it may promulgate a final rule by the mandated July 2018 deadline.  

On May 18, 2017, New York City announced plans to begin enforcing its updated local menu labeling rule, just weeks after FDA announced the postponement of the compliance date for a similar federal menu labeling rule, from May 2017 until next year. These two actions potentially raise novel and significant issues of federal preemption.
Continuing the pattern of delays in the implementation of a compliance date for the menu labeling final rule requirements (previously covered in our posts, FDA Delaying Enforcement (Again) for Menu Labeling Final Rule (March 2016) and LawFlash: FDA Issues Menu Labeling Final Guidance (May 2016)), FDA has issued an interim final rule (to be published on May 4, 2017) again extending the compliance date for menu labeling requirements by one year—from May 5, 2017 to May 7, 2018.
When the makers of Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee seafood products publicly announced their intended $1.51 billion merger in December 2014, no one could have foreseen the complications that followed.
On March 31, FDA published a final guidance document on acceptable unique facility identifiers (UFIs) for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVPs). FDA states in the guidance that it now formally recognizes the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as an acceptable UFI for FSVP.
In the last few years, food and beverage companies have been defending against a new trend of claims related not to the products they manufacture, but the packages in which the products are sold.
Food Chemical News spoke with Bob Hibbert about his thoughts on what the regulatory climate under the Trump administration means for the food industry—particularly for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the meat and poultry industry the agency oversees.
Recent public controversy surrounding an issue many readers would probably rather not hear about—whether it is acceptable to use heart meat in products labeled as “ground beef”—has raised a series of questions involving not simply what might wind up on your grill this summer, but also how USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) goes about developing, changing, and publicly announcing policy developments and changes in the labelling of the meat and poultry products it regulates.
As our Canadian neighbors gaze south across the border, their minds are no doubt filled with countless questions over what can safely be described as the unusual political circumstances that currently prevail within the United States