by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Robert King explains for Washington Examiner readers that new federal rules could lead to major headaches for the people who make your pizza.
Some extra pepperoni slices on your next pizza could trigger lawsuits against your neighborhood pizza joint and even land the store manager in jail, according to opponents of a controversial federal rule.
The Food and Drug Administration has given restaurants another year to prepare for a federal rule requiring all menu items to have calorie counts. But one pizza chain is asking Congress to make substantial changes to parts of the rule it finds unreasonable.
Dominos, one of the largest pizza chains in the U.S., is concerned it will have difficulty implementing several parts of the rule because of the thousands of ways customers can order their pizza.
For instance, customers can get half anchovies and half Canadian bacon, or half pineapple and salami.
And it’s worried that all those combinations — or maybe a stray pepperoni slice or extra, extra cheese — could open up its stores to class-action lawsuits or even criminal penalties.
The rule, required by Obamacare as a way to combat obesity, applies to all chains of 20 or more restaurants, including tiny eateries in grocery stores.
Say a customer orders a large pepperoni pizza. That large pie has to have a certain amount of pepperoni slices on it to meet the calorie limit, which according to a calorie calculator from Dominos is about 300 calories per slice of pizza.
“If a kid puts a couple of extra pepperoni on it, what happens if they don’t do the exact right thing?” asked Lynn Liddle, an executive vice president of Dominos. Liddle is also chairwoman of the trade group American Pizza Community.
If it isn’t the exact count, it would be in violation of federal law, she told the Washington Examiner Monday.