HAUPPAUGE, NY -- Legislators here passed a local law on July 30 to establish healthy food standards at public facilities in Long Island's Suffolk County, NY. The National Automatic Merchandising Association said it is concerned that compliance with the new rules will be difficult.
The first public hearing on the restrictions introduced by Suffolk County Long Island Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) was held in March. | READ MORE
The rules apply to all county contracts for food and beverages at concession stands, cafeterias and vending machines on property owned by Suffolk County. The resolution also includes a provision requiring caloric information for each item based on the size of the package for sale. The language does not stipulate how this information would be provided by the operator or enforced by the municipality.
"NAMA's government affairs division was in contact with the sponsoring legislator, Kara Hahn, asking for time to meet before the vote," said NAMA senior vice-president of government affairs Eric Dell. "However, the vote went forward on restrictions on vended product sales with language that makes compliance very difficult, if not impossible."
He emphasized that the industry has worked to offer constructive solutions for healthy choices in vending in other states and municipalities and through NAMA's Fit Pick nutrition program. "We would still welcome the opportunity to work with Suffolk County on the implementation and enforcement of this new law," he said.
NAMA said it is partnering with other food and beverage industry leaders impacted by this local law to pursue further discussions with Suffolk County leaders.