An Act to Increase Access to Nutrition Information
Effective May 1, 2010, all effected chain restaurants in the State of Maine will be required to post nutrition information on their menus as outlined in this document.
Who is Affected?
All eating establishments that do business under the same name and operate 15 or more locations in the country.
Where to post calorie information?
Calorie information must be provided on all:
- Menu Boards
- Food Tags
The following statement must also be printed on menus and menu boards:
To maintain a healthy weight, a typical adult should consume approximately 2,000 calories per day, however individual calorie needs may vary.
Restaurants may also include a statement that specifies that nutrition information is based on standard recipes, and that modest variations may occur due to differences in preparation, serving size, ingredients, and special orders.
Flavors, Varieties, and Combinations
For menu items listed as a single menu item, but that are offered in different flavors, sizes, varieties, and combinations a median calorie value may be listed as long as all values fall within 20% of the median. When varieties vary more than 20% of the median a range can be displayed from lowest to highest.
If a menu item is not on display or listed on the menu or menu board, calorie information for each individual variety must be made available upon customer request. Obvious signage must be present to alert customers that this information is available.
What information needs to be posted?
The total number of calories as usually prepared and offered for sale for each menu item.
How should it read?
Calorie information must be:
- Clear and conspicuous
- Adjacent to or nearby the stated menu item
- In a font and format that is at least as prominent as the price and or name of the menu item
- Grocery Stores
- Items that are listend on the menu for less than 30 days of the calendar year
- Packaged foods with pre-existing nutrition labels
- Custom orders
Nutrition information must be based on scientific method and consistent with USDA regulations. A restaurant may be found to be in violation of this ordinance if it varies by more than 20% from the actual calorie content.
Establishments may be asked to provide the health department with information documenting the accuracy of their calorie information.