Effective May 7th 2018, the FDA requires vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines, or who voluntarily elect to be covered, provide calorie declarations for those vending machine foods for which the Nutrition Facts label cannot be examined before purchase or for which visible nutrition information is not otherwise provided at the point of purchase.
Who is Subject to the Rule?
You are subject to the rule if you are a vending machine operator who owns or operates 20 or more vending machines.
How does the Rule Define “Vending Machine Operator?
The rule defines “vending machine operator” as a person(s) or entity that controls or directs the function of the vending machine, including deciding which articles of food are sold from the machine or the placement of the articles of food within the vending machine, and is compensated for the control or direction of the function of the vending machine. (21 CFR 101.8(a))
How does the Rule Define “Vending Machine?”
The rule defines “vending machine” as a self-service machine that, upon insertion of a coin, paper currency, token, card, or key, or by optional manual operation, dispenses servings of food in bulk or in packages, or prepared by the machine, without the necessity of replenishing the machine between each vending operation. (21 CFR 101.8(a))
Does the Rule Apply to “Game” Vending Machines that Dispense Food?
Does the Rule Apply to Food Manufacturers?
No, but many have opted to work with bulk vending operators by changing their display cards.
Does the Rule Cover Food Items that Come in Small Packages or Contain Insignificant Nutrient or Caloric Content?
What Permits the Prospective Purchaser to Examine the Nutrition Facts Label?
The prospective purchaser must be able to view the calories, serving size, and servings per container listed in the Nutrition Facts label on the vending machine food without an obstruction, or the calories, serving size, and servings per container listed in a reproduction of an actual Nutrition Facts label. The Nutrition Facts label, or reproduction of an actual Nutrition Facts label, must be: in the format required elsewhere in our regulations, at 21 CFR 101.9(c) and (d);
presented in a size that permits the prospective purchaser to be able to easily read the nutrition information contained in the Nutrition Facts label; and displayed by the vending machine before the prospective purchaser makes his or her purchase.
Can Visible Nutrition Information be Provided from a Brochure or Booklet?
How do I Comply with the Calorie Declaration Requirements?
You must display the number of calories for a covered vending machine food in a clear and conspicuous manner and prominently as detailed in the rule.
How Must I Declare Calories?
The calorie declaration for a covered vending machine food must be declared to the nearest 5- calorie increment up to and including 50 calories and 10-calorie increment above 50 calories, except that amounts less than 5 calories may be expressed as zero. Additionally, the term “Calories” or “Cal” must appear adjacent to the caloric content value for each food in the vending machine. (21 CFR 101.8(c)(2)(i)(A) and (B))
If the Label on the Food Item is Bilingual or Multilingual, am I Required to Display the Calorie Declarations in Multiple Languages?
No. The calorie declarations must appear in English, unless the foods are distributed solely in Puerto Rico or other territories where the predominant language is not English. (See 21 CFR 101.15(c)(1)) For food items distributed solely in Puerto Rico or other territories where the predominant language is not English, the predominant language may be substituted for English.
Where May I Place the Calorie Declaration?
Calorie declarations for covered vending machine food must be clear and conspicuous and placed prominently. The NBVA recommends placing the compliant display card, or calorie sticker directly in the globe of the bulk vending machine.
What Materials Can I Use? Can I Use Stickers?
You may use any material for posting calorie declarations, including stickers, as long as you meet the applicable calorie declaration requirements.
Are there Type Size and Color Requirements for the Calorie Declarations?
When the calorie declaration is in or on the vending machine, the calorie declaration must be in a type size no smaller than the name of the food on the machine (not the label on the packaged food), selection number, or price of the food as displayed on the vending machine, whichever is smallest, with the same prominence, i.e., the same color, or in a color at least as conspicuous, as the color of the name, if applicable, or price of the food or selection number, and the same contrasting background, or a background at least as contrasting as the background used for the item it is in closest proximity to, i.e., name, selection number, or price of the food item as displayed on the machine.
What if My Vending Machine has Few Choices?
For vending machines with few choices or only one choice the calorie declaration may appear on the face of the machine so long as the declaration is prominent, not crowded by other labeling on the machine, and the type size is no smaller than the name of the food on the machine (not the label), selection number, or price of the food as displayed on the vending machine, whichever is smallest. (21 CFR 101.8(c)(2)(ii)(F))
What Contact Information Must I Provide and Where Must I Put It?
Your name, telephone number, and mailing address or e-mail address. The contact information must be readable and may be placed on the face of the vending machine, or otherwise must be placed with the calorie declarations as described in § 101.8(c)(2)(ii) (i.e., on the sign in, on, or adjacent to the vending machine).
How Can I Determine the Calorie Content for Vending Machine Foods?
You may be able to obtain the necessary calorie information from the food package’s Nutrition Facts label, the manufacturer or supplier of the food, nutrient databases, cookbooks, or laboratory analyses.
We encourage you to be prepared to share the record of information with us upon our request during an inspection if we need to determine whether the calorie declarations are truthful and not misleading.
When Must I Comply with the Rule?
May 7th, 2018.
What Happens if I Fail to Comply with the Rule?
Failure to comply with § 101.8 will render the covered vending machine food misbranded under sections 403(a), 403(f), or 403(q) of the FD&C Act. Violations of § 101.8 may result in enforcement action.