Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO)
Last Update: 16 Aug 2016

This act, signed into law in 2010, is most widely known for enacting comprehensive health insurance reform. It also contains menu and vending labeling requirements that should be referenced in food service guidelines.

Under Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, chain vending machine operators (owners of 20 or more vending machines) must make calorie information for food sold from a machine visible to consumers before purchase. If the consumer cannot see the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchase, the operator must post  "clear and conspicuous" calorie information in close proximity to the food or near the food's selection button.

Section 4205 also requires chain restaurants (retail food establishments that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items) to provide nutrition labeling for standard menu items. Rules established to implement these labeling requirements are found in the Code of Federal Regulations.