[vendtalk] Early Info - FDA Rules Make Sense For Vending Operators; Labels And Posters Satisfy Calorie Disclosure

Mike Vandervoort vandervoorts at sbcglobal.net
Thu Nov 27 15:15:11 UTC 2014

Vending Times
Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 12, December 2014, Posted On: 11/26/2014 	

FDA Rules Make Sense For Vending Operators; Labels And Posters Satisfy
Calorie Disclosure 

By Emily Jed; Emily at vendingtimes.net	

WASHINGTON -- The long-awaited calorie-disclosure rules for food and
beverages sold through vending machines appear to be a best-case scenario in
terms of ease of compliance and implementation. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration released the final vending rules on Nov. 24.

The FDA rules mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of
2010 require calorie information to be listed in a consistent, direct and
accessible manner on menus in chain restaurants and retail food
establishments, and on vending machines. The regulations apply to vending
operators with 20 or more machines and to chain restaurants with 20 or more
locations. The FDA issued separate rules for restaurants.

Under the final vending rules, titled Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of
Articles of Food in Vending Machines, operators do not have to declare
calorie content if a patron can view appropriate information on the front of
the package, in the Nutrition Facts label on the food, or in a reproduction
of the Nutrition Facts label.

In cases in which calorie declarations are required, they "must be clear and
conspicuous and placed prominently, and may be placed on a sign in, on, or
adjacent to the vending machine, [as] long as the sign is in close proximity
to the article of food or selection button."

The final ruling also specifies uniform type size, color and contrast
requirements for calorie declarations in or on the vending machines, and on
signs adjacent to them. It permits electronic or digital displays of the
calorie information, too.

With hot beverage machines requiring optional selections to finish a vended
product (e.g., vended coffee, hot chocolate or tea with options for added
sugar, sugar substitute, milk, and cream), calories must be declared per
option, or for the final vended products.

Vending operators will have until Dec. 1, 2016, to comply with the labeling
requirements, while restaurants will have one year. Vending equipment must
have posted contact information, which the FDA will use to contact operators
for enforcement purposes. The rule does not require vending machine
operators to maintain or submit records.

The FDA said the rule on vending machines is projected to absorb $37.9
million in annualized costs over 20 years.

Note: A picture here in the article of a costs and benefits table was
deleted as it was a picture

The National Automatic Merchandising Association hailed the final rules as a
victory for the vending industry. "We're glad to have final guidance on this
issue," said NAMA president and chief executive Carla Balakgie. "We are
encouraged to see that the FDA regulations impacting our industry reflect
the common-sense, flexible approach we advocated regarding calorie labeling
overall. The fact that front-of-pack language -- similar to what we proposed
and what was adopted by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee -- was
included in the final rules is a solid indication that our industry's voice
was heard."

The FDA said it considered more than 1,100 comments from stakeholders and
consumers in developing the rules.

"While we continue to review the rules, we will move forward in concert with
our food manufacturing members on compliance, continuing the process already
well underway by many industry manufacturers without the mandate of
government," said Balakgie.

The final rules are available in the Federal Register. Click here to check
them out.

More information about the VendTalk mailing list