Monday, June 21, 2010

HHS Committee Work Session Summary—Monday June 21st

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee [Council members: Trachtenberg, Leventhal, and Navarro] met today to discuss the Executive Regulation 7-10, Eating and Drinking Establishments Nutritional Labeling.

On June 15, the Council received proposed Executive Regulation 7-10, Eating and Drinking Establishments Nutritional Labeling. ER 7-10 would implement Council Resolution 16-1194 and Bill 19-07, codified at §15-15A, Eating and Drinking Establishments—Nutrition Labeling, which the Council adopted on November 17, 2009. Resolution 16-1194 and Bill 19-07 require that calories and other nutritional information be provided at restaurant chains with 20 or more locations nationwide.

The(se) regulations provide guidance for compliance with and enforcement of Council Bill 19-07 and Board of Health Resolution 16-1194, Board of Health Regulation Requiring Certain Eating and Drinking Establishments to Post Certain Nutrition Information on Menu Boards and Menus. Certain eating and drinking establishments must post the calories of each standardized menu item on the menu or menu board and provide written nutrition information to a consumer upon request. The nutrition information must be posted clearly and conspicuously such that an average consumer may read the information at the ordering counter or from a menu or food tag. This regulation applies only to chain eating and drinking establishments with 20 or more locations in the United States and does not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or movie theatres.

Following is a summary of the work session:

A. Compliance to Bil1 19-07 will be required by July 1, 2010

According to the County Attorney’s Office, the underlying County Resolution and the Executive Regulation are consistent with and not preempted by the new federal law. Possible amendments to the Executive Regulation may be advisable once pending federal regulations are adopted.

B. Enforcement of the Nutrition Labeling Requirement will not take effect until January 1, 2011

Enforcement of the Executive Regulation—where a $500/day penalty will be issued for violations—will not take effect until January 1, 2011.

The HHS Committee believes that nutritional labeling will provide substantial benefit to the residents of Montgomery County and aid each resident in making informed, healthy choices when dining in our many food and drink establishments.

Please contact Saschane Stephenson, Legislative Aide for Health and Human Services, at 240-777-7963 (direct dial) or with your questions regarding this HHS Committee session.

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