Of course, it may not come as a surprise that calorie count menus are delayed one year, to come into use not on the first of December this year, as was the previous deadline, but next year, on the same date. This comes in an effort of food distributors to comply – it turns out, it’s easier said than done.
The Affordable Care Act has made it obligatory for food businesses which are operating in over 20 locations to include a calorie count on their menus, for every single item. Yet the exact way by which this measure, or requirement, would come into effect has not troubled the people at the Food and Drug Administration. It turns out, it’s pretty complicated to figure out the exact caloric intake for all the pizza possibilities at Domino’s – 34 million.
Prompted for solutions to these problems, the FDA has now allowed pizza places to display calories per slice, and not per whole pizza. This simplifies their job of complying with the new regulation, but not by much.
The underlying problem remains – grocers estimate that a staggering $1 billion will have to be spent on correctly labeling prepared products. They especially say that however necessary the reform is, many may just stop selling products like chicken-sandwiches, or fruit cups since showing the caloric intake of these would be too much of a burden for the average grocer.
Still, there are other problems: how can one exactly measure a slice of cheese, for example, so that it is always the same exact size? What if the employee making the sandwich is in a hurry and puts a bit more cheese than usual? Who will be held responsible, provided there is a complaint and an investigation ensues? Will it be the employee, the employer? On whose door will the feds, or the lawyers, knock?
The rule present in the Affordable Care Act does not clarify matters like these. But if the law does not, then who does? Will it be left for the judge to decide?
Amusement parks, vending machine operators, as well as movie theaters are all included in the new regulation, yet problems specific for each and every type of food venue are inherent to appear. Even in restaurants: how will one display the caloric value of wine? For a bottle, or for a glass?
32 Senators have now tried to make up for the ambiguity of the law by the FDA by delaying the deadline of compliance by one year. They are asking for a bipartisan House, assuring that the measure be taken by each and every one according to their own possibilities.
Image source: wsj.net