The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given restaurants more time to comply with new healthcare stipulations that require calorie and nutritional information to be displayed prominently on menus.

The rules go into effect in March 2011, but the agency announced Tuesday that it will delay enforcement so companies could have more time to make the changes, according to Reuters.

The amount of extra time allotted was not disclosed.

The healthcare law, passed in March, requires calorie labeling on chain restaurant menus, menu boards, and drive-thru displays, as well as on vending machines.

The legislation applies to chains with 20 or more outlets, and requires them to provide additional nutrition information on request.
Similar measures are already in effect or are awaiting implementation in California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, New York City, Philadelphia, and a dozen other localities. The federal standard will preempt state or local laws regarding chains with 20 or more locations.
The menu labeling bill exempts small businesses and does not apply to daily or temporary specials and customized orders.


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