The FDA received about 900 comments before the public comment period ended June 6, said Marianna Naum, policy analyst for the FDA’s Office of Food Defense, Communication and Emergency Response.
As of mid-November, the agency still was reviewing comments before issuing a final rule.
“At this time we cannot say when we will issue the final regulation,” she said, but the effective date will be announced in that final regulation.
Most observers expect the rule to take effect in 2012, but already some localities, including California, New York City and Philadelphia, require nutrition information on menus.
Is the requirement a good idea?
Yes, said Mike O’Leary, vice president of fresh-cut for Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
“Making (the calorie count) available to people is another way of suggesting that they should be watching their diet,” he said.
“There’s a reminder there.”
The practice is a good thing for the produce industry, he said, adding that he expects younger consumers to pay more attention to the menu information than older ones.