Suit forces city to set new deadline for calorie menus

Bronx eateries have three more months to post calorie counts on their menus, lawyers for the city said after the New York State Restaurant Association sued over the rule.

The regulation, covering about 2,000 eateries, was supposed to take effect July 1. The association challenged the rule in court last week.

The city moved the date to October 1, saying the delay would give both sides more time to prepare their cases. The New York City Board of Health maintains restaurants that do not comply by the new date will face fines.

Fast-food chains complain the board has exceeded its authority. They also argue calorie information would clutter their menu boards and the rule unfairly targets large chains. Deli and mom-and-pop eateries are largely exempt from the measure.

Burger King and McDonald's had already decided to let the July 1 deadline pass, saying they do not ever plan to post calorie information on their menus. Instead, the fast-food giants plan to continue their practice of providing nutritional data on posters, fliers and their Web sites.

Wendy's, White Castle and Quiznos avoided the rule altogether by taking advantage of a loophole. They stopped providing nutritional information to the public by March 1. The city's measure only applies to eateries that already voluntarily provide the data.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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