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Forget the Feds—NYC Makes Counting Calories Mandatory


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How many calories in this Wayback Burgers burger? If you'd rather not know, don't order one in New York City.

Nicholas Upton

How long will it take on the treadmill to work off that burger and fries? In New York City, restaurants must begin to disclose now the number of calories in their menu items. That’s so even though the rest of the nation got a reprieve earlier this month when federal disclosure rules were postponed until May 7 next year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that all New York City chain food retailers with 15 or more establishments nationwide will be required to comply with NYC’s local calorie labeling requirements, says an alert from DLA Piper law firm.

The city said it would begin to enforce the calorie labeling requirements yesterday, “first by focusing on educating businesses during regular inspections, and then by issuing notices of violation, which may subject these establishments to fines, beginning on August 21, 2017.”

The local rule is expected to affect approximately 3,000 restaurants and about 1,500 retailer chains, and the non-compliant will be subject to fines of $200 to $600 per violation, wrote DLA Piper attorneys Stefanie Fogel, Jim Czaban, Maggie Craig and Jae Kim.

“It seems likely that the city’s enforcement of the law will be challenged in court,” the DLA Piper attorneys wrote, on the grounds it preempts federal law, via the Food & Drug Administration, that is still pending. “If the city’s approach is upheld, other states and local governments may be emboldened to enforce their own labeling laws.”

No word if other, unwritten rules of calorie-counting will be enforced—like if you eat it standing up it doesn't count.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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