In order to avoid compliance issues and risks of litigation as much as possible, many food packaging companies have begun updating their food labeling strategies in recent months. However, it appears that scrutiny regarding restaurants and the food service industry is growing, as consumers become wary of whether the health claims of restaurants, particularly menu items at fast food chains, are reliable.
According to David L. TerMolen, member of the Food Industry Team and partner at Freeborn & Peters in Chicago, there are additional risks. If not updated routinely, nutrient disclosures in the food service industry may be incorrect due to the fact the industry involves more variable products. In an interview with Food Business News, TerMolen said that, “As consumer packaged-food companies have begun to change their labeling marketing behavior as a way to alleviate litigation risk, there is increasing scrutiny of restaurants by plaintiffs’ attorneys.”
Risks related to the marketing and labeling of food products will likely continue on through 2015, however as many food companies update their labeling strategies in order to comply with FDA regulations, TerMolen feels that new risks will emerge in the restaurant industry, many of these risks involving the claims of “all natural” ingredients and other claims regarding how healthy foods and beverages are. Specific wording such as “100%” and “pure” can leave food packaging companies at risk.
Another area of concern for restaurant chains this year will likely be the posting of calories, and how accurate the claims made by restaurant chains are. If not frequently updated, the disclosure of nutrients including calories, salt, and fat content may be incorrect, again because of the involvement of variable products in the foodservice industry.
It seems that the restaurant and foodservice industries will be facing some tough challenges this year in regards to labeling, as consumers continue to demand more transparency in regards to the foods they eat.
REA JET is a supplier of industrial coding and marking solutions to a wide array of industries, including the food/beverage industry. A few of the technologies we provide for these industries include our large and small character inkjet printers, laser systems, and high resolution printer. Count on REA JET for real solutions that are reliable and cost effective.