FDA – Final Guidance on Menu Labeling published

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on 29th April the publication of its final guidance for industry, “A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II (Menu Labeling Requirements in Accordance with 21 CFR 101.11).”

The FDA intends to begin enforcing the menu labeling final rule one year from the date that the Notice of Availability (NOA) is published in the Federal Register. The NOA for the guidance is expected to be published in early May 2016.

This guidance responds to many frequently asked questions that the agency has received to date. It differs from the draft guidance by providing additional examples and new or revised questions and answers on topics such as covered establishments, alcoholic beverages, catered events, mobile vendors, grab-and-go items, and record keeping requirements.

In 2010, section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended 403(q)(5)(H) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 343(q)(5)(H)) to require that restaurants and similar retail food establishments that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, and offering for sale substantially the same menu items, provide calorie information for standard menu items (including food on display and self-service food) and provide, upon request, additional written nutrition information for standard menu items.

This guidance document describes nutrition labeling that is required for foods sold in covered establishments, how this information (calorie and nutrition labeling) may be presented, and when exempt foods, as defined further below, must provide nutrition labeling. The guidance also describes means (reasonable basis) by which nutrient values may be derived.

You can download the PDF file here.

(Source: FDA website)

FVO report – Poland – Poultry meat shortcomings identified

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office audit in Poland. The audit took place from 18 to 28 November 2014 to assess whether the organization of the competent authorities and the implementation of national provisions in respect of controls on poultry meat and products derived therefrom comply with EU requirements.

The report concludes that Poland has in place an organised official control system based on EU and national legislation, supported by a number of Central Competent Authority instructions and guidelines. In general, this control system is applied consistently over time and covers the entire poultry production chain.

However some shortcomings in the implementation of the official control system were noted with respect to:

• The insufficient supervision and control of the use of food additives and the labelling of mechanically separated meat;

• Shortcomings at establishment level detected by the FVO audit team but had not previously been noted during official controls;

• The actions taken by the Competent Authorities in cases of positive results after official Salmonella sampling, particularly in order to prevent recurrence of these situations;

• The application of National measures not in line with EU rules, in relation to the adaptation of the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 in low production establishments.

The report includes a number of recommendations addressed to the central competent authority, aimed at rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementation of official control system in place.

(Source: DG Sante website)