And you guys thought the picture below of how Obamacare will work was horrific? Keep reading..
Yes, we are still figuring out what is “in it” like Nancy Pelosi said..but what all of you will probably be surprised about, including myself, there is a little known tidbit that will require the pizza industry, and possibly grocery stores and convenience stores, to display the calorie count in their products for their customers. Even vending machines.
Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act:
Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act amends section 403(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), which governs nutrition labeling requirements, and section 403A of the FFDCA, which governs federal preemption of State and local food labeling requirements.
2. What are the basic requirements of section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act for foods that are standard menu items sold in restaurants or similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations [bolding mine] doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items (hereinafter “chain retail food establishments”)?
The following information must be provided for standard menu items that are sold in chain retail food establishments:
The number of calories in each standard menu item on a menu or menu board (the calorie disclosure must be “clearly associated with” and “adjacent to” the name of the standard menu item),
A statement on the menu or menu board that puts the calorie information in the context of a recommended total daily caloric intake,
Additional nutrition information for standard menu items in written form (“written nutrition information”), which must be made available to consumers upon request,
A “prominent, clear, and conspicuous” statement on the menu or menu board regarding the availability of the written nutrition information, and
The number of calories (per item or per serving) adjacent to self-service food and food on display. These foods include food sold at salad bars, buffet lines, cafeteria lines or similar self-service facilities and self-service beverages and food on display that is visible to consumers.
3. What are the basic requirements of section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act for food sold from vending machines operated by persons who own or operate 20 or more vending machines (hereinafter “chain vending machine operators”)?
For food sold from a vending machine by a chain vending machine operator, where the purchaser cannot examine the Nutrition Facts Panel of the food before buying, or where the nutrition information is not otherwise visible at the point of purchase, the operator must put a sign close to each article of food or selection button disclosing the amount of calories in a clear and conspicuous manner.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Jenny Fouracre-Petko, the legislative director for Domino’s Pizza and a member of the trade group American Pizza Community. Some of the other members are Godfather’s Pizza, Little Caesar’s and Papa Johns. Ms. Fouracre-Petko has done the math for the infinite combinations of pizzas Dominos can prepare, and it comes out to a whopping 34,000,000. So in reality, this is what the wall inside a Dominos would have to look like to comply with the new FDA/Obamacare regs:
Ms. Fouracre-Petko explained to me internet and phone-in orders would be exempt from the signage, but only about 10% of pizza orders come from walk-ins and the new regulations would cost EACH facility an estimated $4700 per year to comply. Coming on the heels of more taxes and regulations, the down-turn of the economy, that is really going to hurt the small mom-and-pop businesses.
This may also extend to salad bars in grocery stores. Even that hot dog you pick up on the fly at the gas station. And of course where do you expect the added costs to go? Why of course, to the consumer. It’s estimated this new regulation could cost upwards of $1 billion to the grocery and pizza industry.
But there is good news on the horizon. H.R. 6174, The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2012 has been introduced in the House.
To amend section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve and clarify certain disclosure requirements for restaurants, similar retail food establishments, and vending machines.
Mayor “slurpie” Bloomberg, you would be proud…
The American Pizza Community has a “take action” center where one can send a letter to their Congressmen in support of more common-sense regulations.