Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Chain Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Guidance for Industry April 2020
- Docket Number:
- Issued by:
Guidance Issuing OfficeCenter for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling
This guidance is intended to remain in effect until November 7, 2023.
For further information, refer to 88 FR 15417, March 13, 2023.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) plays a critical role in protecting the United States from threats such as emerging infectious diseases, including the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. FDA is committed to providing timely guidance to support response efforts to this pandemic.
FDA is issuing this guidance to chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments that sell standard menu items covered under the menu labeling provisions of section 403(q)(5)(H) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) to provide flexibility regarding these menu labeling requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This policy is intended to remain in effect only for the duration of the public health emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including any renewals made by the HHS Secretary in accordance with section 319(a)(2) of the Public Health Services (PHS) Act.
Given this public health emergency, and as discussed in the Notice in the Federal Register of March 25, 2020, titled “Process for Making Available Guidance Documents Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019,” available at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-0325/pdf/2020-06222.pdf, this guidance is being implemented without prior public comment because FDA has determined that prior public participation for this guidance is not feasible or appropriate (see section 701(h)(1)(C) of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR 10.115(g)(2)). This guidance document is being implemented immediately, but it remains subject to comment in accordance with the Agency’s good guidance practices.
In general, FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidance documents describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidance means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.
 A “standard menu item” is defined as a restaurant-type food that is routinely included on a menu or menu board or routinely offered as a self-service food or food on display (21 CFR 101.11(a)).
- FDA Issues Federal Register Notice to Announce Status of COVID-19 Guidance Documents When Public Health Emergency Expires March 10, 2023
- FDA COVID-19 Information
- Menu Labeling Requirements
- Labeling & Nutrition Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information
- Retail Food Protection
- Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (ARCHVIED)
You can submit online or written comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5))
If unable to submit comments online, please mail written comments to:
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
All written comments should be identified with this document's docket number: FDA–2020–D–1139.