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A closer look at Multnomah’s menu mandate

August 1, 2008

[Multnomah County Chronic Disease Prevention Program Recommendation. 6/08 .] Fast Food & Chain Restaurant Nutrition Labeling Policy Recommendation

Drawing from input from community stakeholders, the policy was informed by the following guiding principles:
• Enable point-of-purchase decision-making,
• Avoid undue burden on small business owners,
• Present information in easy to understand ways that do not confuse the consumer, and
• Present information in ways that preserve the design of the menu.

Applies to:
• Fast Food and Chain Restaurant Establishments 1) with at least fifteen or more outlets nation-wide, and 2) who offer substantially the same menu items across outlets, regardless of whether the food establishments are subject to the same ownership or type of ownership.

Excludes:
• Grocery and convenience stores

Applies to:
• Standard Menu: Items on the menu or menu board for more than 60 days

Excluded Items:
• Temporary and customized orders
• Condiments and garnishes
• Alcoholic beverages not listed as standard menu items
Rationale

Avoid undue burden on small businesses.
• Most food prepared in chain restaurants is standardized in terms of ingredients, cooking instruction, and portion sizes.
• About half large chains already provide nutrition information on-line and would not incur additional costs.
• Be consistent with regulations adopted in other jurisdictions.

Leave ample space for culinary innovation. Minimize need for
frequent re-printing of menus.

  
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