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MenuCalc Menu Labeling Laws White Papers Back

California SB1420

Food Facilities: Nutrition Information

On September 30, 2008 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed California Bill number SB1420, requiring all applicable food facilities in California to provide the appropriate nutrition information as follows.

Who is Affected?

All food facilities with 20 or more locations within California that operate under a common ownership with the same name or food facilities that operate as a franchise with 20 or more franchised outlets in the state.

Does not include: farmer’s markets, commissaries, grocery stores, health care facilities, mobile support units, school cafeterias, retail stores, and vending machines.

What is Required and Where?

Every chain restaurant, as defined, must disclose nutrition information for each standard menu item available for sale. A standard menu item means a food or beverage item offered by a food facility through a menu, menu board, or display tag for at least 180 days per calendar year. The nutrition information shall reflect a consistent portion size for a standardized recipe.

What it Information Must be IncludedLocation of Nutrition Information
Effective July 1, 2009Calorie Content
Saturated Fat (g)
Carbohydrates (g)
Sodium (mg)

Restaurants with menu boards: Provide information in a brochure, made available at the point of sale prior to ordering.

Restaurants with sit-down service: Provide information in one of the following formats: A brochure made available at the table, in the menu next to each menu item, in the menu in an index section separate from the menu’s standard listing of items, a menu insert, or a table tent on the table.

Drive-throughs: Provide information in a brochure that is available upon request and also display a notice at the drive-through stating (or similar): NUTRITION INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.”

Effective January 1, 2011Calorie ContentMenus: Next to the menu item.
Menu Boards: Next to the menu item.
Display Tags: On the display tag.
Drive-throughs: In a brochure that is available upon request and also display a notice at the drive-through stating (or similar): "NUTRITION INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST."

* Nutrition information must be displayed in a size and typeface that is clear and conspicuous. Every brochure also requires the statement: "Recommended limits for a 2,000 calorie diet are 20 grams of saturated fat and 2,300 milligrams of sodium."


All menus and menu boards may include a disclaimer indicating that there may be variations in nutritional content across servings, based on variations in overall size and quantities of ingredients, and based on special ordering.

What Does Not Have To Be Labeled?

  • Customized orders
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Packaged food with nutrition labels


Standard menu items that include a combination of two or more standard menu items should post a calorie range for minimum and maximum calorie

Appetizers and Desserts

Appetizers and desserts that are meant to be shared by more than one patron may list the calorie contents per individual serving so long as the number of people the menu item is intended to serve is also disclosed.

How To Get This Information

Through a reasonable basis, meaning an FDA recognized method of determining calorie content and nutrition information. Reasonable bases include, but are not limited to, nutrition databases and laboratory analyses.


Beginning July 9, 2009 local enforcement agencies may begin to inspect for and enforce these regulations. Food facilities found to be in violation of these regulations may be fined no less than $50, and no more than $500. A food facility may not be found to violate this section