Photo: King Chung Huang, Flickr
As part of the massive health care reform bill signed into law last year, restaurant chains with 20 or more locations are required to post calorie counts for their regular menu items, and that doesn't mean in a brochure of microscopic type stashed behind the register.
No, the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for enforcing the law, issued preliminary guidance to the restaurant industry last year, making it plain that calorie counts would have to be posted, well, plainly: right up there on the menu board, next to each item, in a type size just as large.
It sounds easy enough, but apparently, it's not. As Nation's Restaurant News reports, the FDA has delayed issuing its final regulations, citing the "complexity" of the undertaking.
"This issue sounds very simple on the face of it, but when you start thinking about it, it becomes extremely complicated," one industry representative told NRN. "How do you label items that have different methods of preparation or variations?"
Ok, we're thinking about it, but still it doesn't seem like rocket science. If McDonald's can figure out how to get the McRib up on their menu board every once in a blue moon, is it that hard to slap the calorie count of a Big Mac up there as well?
Apparently, the FDA doesn't think so, because it says that it only expects a "short delay" before it issues its final set of rules.
And by the way, that Triple Whopper with bacon? 1190 calories.