ObamaCare’s menu-labeling requirement forces Dairy Queen to end homemade sauces

Dairy Queen

A Dairy Queen in Washington state had been making their own homemade sauces for customers. But because of ObamaCare’s menu-labeling requirements, a little publicized provision of the law, they’ve had to switch to a pre-packaged sauce or discontinue sauces.

“Due to the nutritional labeling requirements of ObamaCare, we have to serve pre-packaged, pre-made fry sauce,” said the franchisee in a letter, made available by The Quinton Report. “We can no longer make our own as we have done for many years. The additional cost to us is substantial, about $5,800 per year.”

“I regret to say, we are forced to pass the cost of pre-packaged fry sauce, for take-out, along to you the customer. We will serve pre-made bulk fry sauce in the lobby at no additional charge,” the letter continued. “It is for the same reason we have had to discontinue our Buffalo Sauce and Habanero Ketchup, which were made in-store.”

“Please be assured we are doing our very best to keep the cost to you, our customer, down while still maintaining the quality you have come to expect from us,” the letter added.

This provision of ObamaCare (Section 4205) requires restaurant chains with 20 or more locations to disclose the caloric content of menu items to their customers. It also applies to grocery and convenience store chains.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is overseeing the implementation of this provision, estimates that it will cost restaurants, grocery and convenience store chains as much as $537 million to comply the regulations. The high-end cost to restaurants alone is $457 million. The estimates that annual recurring compliance costs will run as high as $64 million.

The FDA says that the requirement will allow customers to see how many calories they’re consuming, in hopes that it will reduce obesity.

“The potential benefit from the proposed rule stems from the effect that decreasing the consumption of calories from restaurant and restaurant-type food has on mitigating obesity rates and growth in the U.S. population,” said the FDA of the provision. “While survey data has shown that calorie labeling increases the number of people who see, and claim to use, this information, the literature has found mixed results on the effect of calorie posting on actual food consumption.”

Daren Bakst of the Heritage Foundation recently noted that menu-labeling hasn’t had much success when it has been tried.

“The Obamacare menu-labeling law is modeled after a provision that has been in place in New York City since 2008. New York University and Yale researchers collected receipts before and after the New York City law went into effect and found that individuals ordered more calories after the labeling law went into effect,” wrote Bakst.

“They also ordered more calories than a similar population in Newark, where there was no labeling law,” he added.

So basically, the provision is pointless, but it’s going to cost restaurants and others that will have to comply with it a lot of money just to make members of Congress who voted for the law and bureaucrats who wrote the rules feel good about themselves.


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