Like the menu labeling provision in the bill crafted by Senate's health committee, the House version would require that calorie information be printed on menus or posted on menu boards for all standard menu items. The restaurant must also post a brief statement describing the suggested daily caloric intake in order to put the posted calorie information in context. Restaurants would be required to have additional nutritional information available in written form, which consumers can request. Operators would post a notice informing consumers of the information's availability. Custom orders, temporary specials on the menu less than 60 days and items under market test for less than 90 days would be exempt from the calorie labeling requirement, as would items not listed on menus or menu boards, such as condiments. Self-service food and beverages would have caloric information displayed adjacent to each item.
Both the House version and the Senate's health committee version would preempt state or local laws regarding chains with 20 or more locations. A few states and several communities, including California and New York City, have passed their own menu labeling laws. New York's regulation targets chains with 15 or more locations, so those chains with 15-19 units would be covered under that city's law. However, those restaurants could choose to apply the federal standard rather than the local law.
The requirements would go into effect one year after law was passed. The National Restaurant Association voiced its support of the Senate's version of the provision when it was crafted this summer, as it did earlier legislation that pre-empted state and local menu-labeling laws. Operator dissent
The requirements would go into effect one year after law was passed. The National Restaurant Association voiced its support of the Senate's version of the provision when it was crafted this summer, as it did earlier legislation that pre-empted state and local menu-labeling laws.
However, not all restaurant operators support the menu labeling provision. Twenty-one limited- and full-service chains sent a letter to Congress in July requesting that their version be more inclusive. In that letter, Jonathan Blum, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC parent Yum! Brands Inc.'s senior vice president of public affairs, said that setting the mininum at 20 restaurants means that "only 25 percent of restaurants (would be required) to label menus."