FDA Extends Compliance Deadline For Items With FOP Calorie Labels: July 26, 2018

by Staff Reporters
Posted On: 7/8/2016

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TAGS: vending machine calorie rule, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA final calorie-declaration requirements, glassfront vending machines, front-of-pack calorie disclosures, FOP labeling, FOP calorie information, Nutrition Facts label, National Automatic Merchandising Association, NAMA Fly-In, calorie-content labels

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that it will extend the deadline for compliance with its final calorie-declaration requirements for "certain foods sold from glassfront vending machines" to July 26, 2018. The agency said that it intends to announce this extension formally in the Federal Register in the near future.

The extension specifically applies to products imprinted with front-of-pack calorie disclosures; the original compliance date of Dec. 1, 2016, still applies to other vendible foods and beverages.

The FDA noted that, according to the final rule on calorie labeling for vending machines, visible front-of-package (FOP) labeling can be used to meet the calorie labeling requirements for vending machines. Industry trade associations requested a compliance-date extension because of concern over the size requirements for FOP calorie-content labels.

In a letter to the FDA, the petitioners pointed out that the type size requirement for FOP labeling presents "significant technical challenges," and asked that it be clarified to specify type 150% the size of that used for the net-quantity-of-contents statement on the package.

Current voluntary food and beverage industry FOP labeling programs display calorie information in type sizes ranging from 100% to 150% that of the content statement, while FDA's final rule currently requires the calorie label to be printed in type 50% the size of the largest printed matter on the label.

"FDA recognizes industry's concern about technical challenges and will issue a proposed rule for comment," the agency said.

The trade associations also pointed out that it would be helpful to set a compliance date that aligns with the date chosen for the final Nutrition Facts label rule: July 26, 2018. They noted that such an extension would allow food companies to make all the necessary changes to their food labels at the same time.

Representatives from the FDA's food safety and applied nutrition center will host a seminar on calorie disclosure compliance at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's Fly-In on Tuesday in Washington.