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Mar 27

FDA requires that all restaurant menus include calorie information, and then defines “menu” to include everything from coupons to sales ads

The diabolical reach of the federal government knows almost no bounds.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration imposed a rule that all restaurant “menus” must include calorie data regarding every product. That rule alone imposed millions of dollars of unnecessary costs on the restaurant industry. (Many restaurants and food chains–such as McDonalds–have long been volunteering such information for their customers.)

But the government’s definition of “menu” includes most advertising and marketing materials.

FDA defines a menu as any material that lists, or has an image of, at least one standard menu item, includes the price of the item, and can be used by a customer to make an order (e.g., by including a phone number or web address).

This broad interpretation means that a majority of print advertising, including coupons, door hangers, fliers, direct mail, and circulars, will have to be calorie-labeled. See here.