Suffolk County required restaurants in the county with at least 15 locations nationwide to "prominently post the calorie counts" of food by Oct. 28. While many local chains have added this to their menu, some still have not.
The most recent portion of these new health laws to go into effect is a requirement that chain restaurants prominently display the caloric content of their food and beverages in their menus. The new laws, though a part of state legislation, fall in line with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which made menu labeling a federal law when signed into law on March 23.
" The caloric content must be as prominently displayed as the food item itself and also be listed in close proximity to the food item's name, picture, and price. All displays are to be reviewed and approved by the Suffolk County Bureau of Public Health Protection, which will regularly check restaurants to confirm compliance," said Suffolk County Legislator Lou D'Amaro in a statement.
As of Nov. 12, the vast majority of fast food and chain restaurants in the area were already complying with the new law.
Branches of nationwide chains like , , , and found locally have all posted the caloric content of their menu items above the counter. Many fast food restaurants also have pamphlets available detailing nutritional information on location as well.
Newer establishments, such as the Burger King, have nutritional information built right into their menus, while others have simply complied by added the information onto the existing boards.
In addition to fast food, chain restaurants like and have also begun adding the information to their individual and posted menus.
However, there are some chains that have yet to comply with the new requirements.
has no nutritional information posted or readily available, though they are aware of the new laws.
"I think we have some time to comply," said a manager at the location who wished to remain anonymous. "I thought it doesn't go into effect until April. We're all ready for it and everything. Everything's made up. I mean I think we have a few months to comply, but we change the menus after Thanksgiving anyway. We might just put them up them."
locations in Commack have no information currently, and employees had no real idea as to when they would be complying. Management was unavailable for comment. Their competitors – – has calorie counts on both of their Commack locations.
Panera Bread is also in compliance with the new law, and has been posting the caloric content of its menu items since the summer.
"We were among the first to do it," said Cory Hutchins, a manager at the East Northport location. "We did it a few months ago, long before this."
The next round of changes to be complied with by Oct. 28, 2011 include a trans-fat ban, which applies to the same restaurants as the caloric content posting does.