In the current world, people get too busy and end up eating out their homes. When you ingest food from restaurants and vending machines, you need to know what you put in your body. Although you can sometimes find nutrition information printed on the packages of food and beverages found in stores this might not be the same for food from vending machines. You would benefit more if you knew about the calories and nutrition information of foods you buy to ascertain what nutrients you consume daily. Here is what you need to know about vending machine labeling rules.

Who is a vending machine operator?

For vending machine owners or operators who have 20 or more vending machines, calories labeling is required. The final rule defines a vending machine operator as a person or entity which is in charge of controls or overseeing the vending machine functions. The supervising duties include deciding of which food should be sold from the machine or the placing of articles of food into the machine. This entity also receives compensation for controlling the functions of the vending machine 

When are operators not responsible for displaying calorie info?

The final rule encompasses the definition of a vending machine, but it is not limited to vending machines that sell soft drinks, packaged snacks, hot-and-cold cup beverages, refrigerated prepared food, and handfuls of nuts or candies. Vending machine operators are not required to declare calorie information of food if potential buyers can view specific info in front of the packaging. Vendor owners are also not responsible for declaring calories info when the reproduction of the Nutrition Facts Label on the food subjects to certain needs, or if they own or operate less than 20 vending machines.

When should the calorie information be indicated?

If the calories are not visible on the packaging, then the information should be posted on signs such as a small placard, sticker, or poster and electronic or digital displays may also be used but near the food item. The electronic display may also be situated near or on the vending machine’s selection button. To make sure that the calorie information is visible on any sign the rule dictates the font, color and background color of the sign. Vending machine operators not affected by the final rule may willingly elect to be subjected to it through biannual registration.

Case for blended foods

If in a situation where the vendor food is one which requires the customer to select options (sugar, milk, cream, etc.) to make a final vendor product (coffee, chocolate or tea), then calories information of each item or the final blended product should be provided.

Future plans

Some items sold from glass-front vending machines are yet to comply with the final rule, such include gum mints and roll candy.

The final rule also requires that for enforcement purposes, the vending machine operator’s contact information should be conspicuous, and prominently displayed.

The final rule which dictates on calorie labeling is expected to be consistent nationwide. It will be not only easy to understand nutrition information in a direct manner but also an accessible way.

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