H.R. 772 amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act to clarify the information certain retail food chain establishments, with 20 or more locations, must disclose about nutrition to the consumer to prevent overly burdensome regulations for certain establishments, such as convenience stores, supermarkets, grocery stores and pizza restaurants, and to provide flexibility in how restaurants display calorie information.
Specifically, the bill allows retail food establishments where the majority of orders are placed by customers who are off-premises at the time such order is placed, such as pizza restaurants, to disclose nutritional information on a remote-access menu (such as a menu available on the Internet) as the sole method of disclosure instead of on-premises writings. The bill also eliminates criminal penalties and allows restaurants and retailers to take corrective action, and preempts civil litigation for violations of the federal menu labeling law and any state laws that may exist. The bill accommodates for inadvertent variations that occur during the food preparation process.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 6, 2018.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on January 8, 2018. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to revise the nutritional information that restaurants and retail food establishments must disclose. The nutrient content disclosure statement on the menu or menu board must include: (1) the number of calories contained in the whole menu item; (2) the number of servings and number of calories per serving; or (3) the number of calories per common unit of the item, such as for a multi-serving item that is typically divided before presentation to the consumer. Nutritional information may be provided solely by a remote-access menu (e.g., an Internet menu) for food establishments where the majority of orders are placed by customers who are off-premises.
Establishments with self-serve food may comply with the requirements for restaurants or place signs with nutritional information adjacent to each food item.
An establishment's nutrient content disclosures may vary from actual nutrient content if the disclosures comply with current standards for reasonable basis.
Establishments with standard menu items that come in different flavors, varieties, or combinations, that are listed as a single menu item may determine and disclose nutritional information using specified methods or methods allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Regulations pursuant to this bill or the clause amended by this bill may not take effect until the compliance date specified in the regulations promulgated pursuant to this bill.
The FDA may not exempt states from nutrition labeling requirements.
(Sec. 3) Establishments are not liable in any state or federal civil action for claims arising out of an alleged violation of federal or state nutrition labeling, unless the action is brought by a state or the United States.