At the church potluck dinner: None. On the homemade birthday treat brought to class: None. On the bake sale breads and cookies: None. On the grocery store shelves: everywhere. “Nutrition Facts”, peanut warnings, calorie counts, fat gram charts. It seems we’re flooded with information about the food we purchase from stores.

And now some restaurants are posting “Nutrition Facts” about their fare – bad news about calories and fat grams if you read them. What should we know about the food we eat and how?

Increased Awareness

If you’ve stepped inside a Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee in the morning, you may have seen notices that their products may contain nuts or other allergens. Many restaurants in New York City must have the nutrition values of their food ready for inspection by patrons.

With the increased awareness of food allergies, potential for salmonella and knowledge of food by consumers, food is becoming more a commodity and less of an art.

Federal Regulations Govern Food Warnings

New food businesses of all types – restaurants, sidewalk food wagons or produce stands – may now have to post food safety warnings on the food they serve. This includes ingredients, nutrition (or lack thereof), potential allergens and where the ingredients are from.

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