FDA Issues Draft Guidance and Small Entity Compliance Guide Regarding Calorie Labeling For Vending Machine Foods

  • On December 1, 2014, FDA issued a final rule (79 FR 71259) entitled “Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines”.  The rule implements the vending machine labeling provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require disclosure of calorie information at the point of purchase for food sold by persons who own or operate 20 or more vending machines.
  • The Draft Guidance and corresponding Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG), published today, provide additional information to support compliance with the final rule and responds to frequently asked questions about the vending machine labeling requirements, including, but not limited to, covered operators, calorie declaration, calorie display, and compliance.
  • With specific regard to the timeline for compliance, vending machine operators subject to the final rule have until December 1, 2016, to comply with the rule, which is 2 years after the date of the final rule’s publication in the Federal Register.  As previously covered on this blog, however, in the Federal Register of August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50303), the Agency issued a final rule entitled “Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines; Extension of Compliance Date.”  This rule provides that the compliance date for type size front-of-pack labeling requirements and calorie disclosure requirements for certain gums, mints, and roll candy products in glass-front machines in the final rule published December 1, 2014 is extended to July 26, 2018.  The compliance date for all other requirements in the final rule remains December 1, 2016.
  • The Agency is currently accepting comments on both the Draft Guidance, as well as the SECG.  Comments submitted on the Draft Guidance within the next 45 days will bear directly on the final version of the Guidance.  Keller and Heckman attorneys would be happy to assist interested parties with preparing comments for submission to the Agency, and can be reached at: fooddrug@khlaw.com.