Despite the discussion over the many business-related implications included in the recent health care reform bill, one large component of the bill will hit the restaurant industry right in the middle of the menu. Included in the bill are regulations for restaurants to implement dish nutritional details alongside their menu listings. According to the new nationwide legislation, restaurants with 20 or more locations will now be required to provide nutritional information, though no specific date for the chances has been developed.
Nation’s Restaurant News writer Anita Jones-Mueller posted a few tips for restaurants and managers to prepare for the shift in requirements. The changes look to be time-consuming, and in some cases costly, but the National Restaurant Association considers them to be a “win for consumers and restaurateurs”. Some of Jones-Mueller’s recommendations:
1. Review recipes for accuracy: Recipes should include exact measurements, specific ingredients, brand information and preparation instructions. Be sure to include precise measurements of salt, even that pinch that is added to taste,’ oil used for sauteing, and other ingredients that may not be included in your recipes but will affect the nutritional makeup of the dishes. Your analyst will need all recipes, including sub-recipes for marinades, sauces, etc.
2. Find a trusted, qualified analyst: You will need to rely on the expertise of your analyst and be confident that you will have access to the data for the life of your concept. Your analyst should have a degree in nutrition and/or dietetics and be thoroughly trained in nutrient analysis for the restaurant industry. This is a distinct skill set from analysis techniques used for food products or consumer consumption. Your analyst should have a quality assurance guarantee and use a reliable nutrient analysis database designed specifically for nutrient analysis.
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