What’s more fun that a gooey slice of pizza? The answer is simple: a gooey slice of pizza with the perfectly selected, fresh toppings, of course. But the Food and Drug Administration is demanding that restaurant owners post calorie and other nutritional information about their food… and that might have a terrible effect on the pizza industry. The Daily Signal reports:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments” (79 FR 71155) rule is scheduled to take effect on May 5. The 105-page rule implements Obama-era amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), which sets national standards for the marketing and labeling of food products.
The rule will require, among other mandates, that all restaurants and other retail food outlets, such as movie theaters, operating as one brand with at least 20 stores display a calorie count in addition to other nutritional information for all standard menu items on the establishment’s “menus and menu boards.”
Wait just one second. Has the government finally overstepped so much that New Yorkers and Chicagoans will rebel? You just shouldn’t mess with pizza… and restaurant owners are afraid of accidentally breaking the law. “‘Menu’ can refer to any writing that [is] ‘used by a customer to make an order selection at the time the customer is viewing the writing,” said the former executive vice president of Domino’s Pizza, Lynn Liddle.
As anyone who’s gone to a party knows, pizza slices are sometimes radically different sizes, to the calorie counts wouldn’t be reliable. Plus, adding different toppings would also throw off the numbers. “Industry representatives also pointed out that restaurant owners and supervisors can be held criminally liable for FD&C Act violations under the so-called ‘responsible corporate officer doctrine.'”
Yikes. That’s scary stuff and high fines for someone who just wants to sell pizza, not watch their customers’ weight. One Kentucky restaurant owner said, “To face one year in prison for putting too many pepperonis on a pizza? Everybody laughs and smiles, but that’s the reality of the way it’s written now.”
Give me a break! Let Pizza Hut sell pizzas. Let Weight Watchers keep us thin. Not Uncle Sam.