July 27, 2016 |

FDA Menu Labeling Law 2017 The Law That Will Require Pizzas To Be Cut Equally The Portion PadL Is The Ideal Tool

By Denise Greer

Picture Of Unequal Slices At A Pizza Buffet In Akron 4-25-16 For Pizza Today.10 (3)Traditionally, the pizza industry has viewed cutting pizza as the last process needed before serving pizza to the customer. Currently, there is little importance for cutting whole pizzas accurately and into equal slices. The typical mindset is pizzas just need to be cut. And until now, the consumer has not had a reason to care.

The process for making the pizza is just the opposite. The practices that go into making pizza require recipes to be followed accurately and consistently. It is the accuracy and consistency that make the perfect tasting pizza. Following recipes accurately and consistently is the backbone for bringing the customer back, regularly.

When making the perfect batch of pizza dough, accurately measuring, weighing and mixing all the recipe’s ingredients are required. That perfectly made batch of dough turns into the signature pizza crust. The sauces, cheeses and toppings are also carefully measured and weighed for each pizza that is made from each perfectly made batch of dough. Even when the pizza is baked, the oven is set at a desired temperature and is baked for a specific time. Unlike cutting a pizza, all of these processes for making the pizza require an enormous amount of time and accuracy to maintain a consistent tasting pizza.

Before the new FDA menu labeling law is in effect on May 5, 2017, chains of twenty or more and their franchisees, will need to understand why the current process for cutting a pizza will dramatically change.

They will also need to know how easy a federal violation for misbranding can be identified and the solution for compliance.

The FDA has defined pizza as a multiple serving unit. When the calories and nutrient information are advertised to the consumer for each slice on the chain’s regular menu pizzas, the pizzas are required be cut equally. That way, the calories and nutritional information listed on the menu for each slice will accurately represent the calories and nutrients found in each slice.

The law requires a representative at the corporate level as well as at the chain level to sign a statement declaring that all necessary measurements have been taken assure that the specified portion sizes were served to the customer. If pizzas are not cut equally, the chain could be in violation of their declarations statement. A non-compliance complaint would initiate an investigation, which could lead to a violation for misbranding their product. The FDA has also indicated that sufficient evidence for initiating an investigation for non-compliance complaint would be as easy as a consumer, consumer advocate group or competitor taking pictures or video of pizzas cut unequally, along with the advertised menu label of nutritional information. This federal law will change with the process of cutting pizzas for chains of twenty or more.

The good news for the pizza industry is there are pizza cutting boards and guides available. Research those portioning tools that can handle portioning each regular menu pizzas and their slice combinations into equal slices. At least one portion control pizza cutting board, the Portion PadL, can not only accommodate cutting round pizzas, it can also be custom made for portioning square and rectangle sheet pizzas. When using a pizza cutting board or guide, the risk of a complaint being filed and an ensuing investigation for non-compliance portioning will be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.

About The Author:

Greg Getzinger is the owner and inventor of the patented and patent pending Portion PadL and former pizza business owner. He has studied the FDA menu labeling law as it relates to the pizza industry. Greg recently attended one of only three FDA menu labeling workshops before the law is in effect in 2017. His findings in this article are based on his research and interview with the FDA representatives at the workshop held on July 17, 2016. Any questions related to this article, Greg can be reached at greg@portionpadl.com or at 330-608-5928. Additional information about the Portion PadL can be found at www.portionpadl.com.