Menu labeling guidance releasedThe deadline for menu labeling compliance is May 5, 2017.  As you prepare, menu nutrition analysis is an important piece of the puzzle.  Nutritional analysis may be completely new to your business, and choosing the right method could make things easier for you.  The FDA requires you follow a “reasonable basis standard” for your labeling.  FDA’s menu labeling rules state that,

“You must ensure that nutrient declarations for standard menu items are accurate and consistent with the specific basis used to determine nutrient values. You must take reasonable steps to ensure that the method of preparation (e.g., types and amounts of ingredients, cooking temperatures) and amount of a standard menu item offered for sale adhere to the factors on which you determined your nutrient values.”

Restaurant Nutrition offers some insight on where to start. The FDA has several suggested methods that meet the reasonable basis standard.

Factors to consider:

  • Cost
  • Menu size
  • Internal procedures and processes
  • Staff size and expertise

How do you get your data?

The FDA offers several methods to consider when you are trying to compile data to complete the menu labeling guidelines:

  • Cookbooks- Can be low cost, but also not as accurate
  • Costing software – If you have this in place, the implementation cost is low, but you’ll need additional training for your staff to best utilize the software
  • Computerized Analysis/Nutrition Vendor –  Can be high cost, but very accurate, and can allow for easy updates
  • Laboratory Analysis – Usually the highest cost method, is highly accurate, but allows for little change in menu

Get more details from Restaurant Nutrition on the data methods to get an accurate menu nutrition analysis and to choose the best option for your restaurant.