Larger food chains in the city such as McDonald's, Subway and Starbucks are required to display calorie counts on their menus following a city health department regulation.
In Maryland, the law requiring fast food restaurants in Montgomery County to post menus with nutritional information is almost nine months old. But only around a half of restaurants have fully complied with the law.
Twenty six percent of the restaurants that have been inspected have not posted any information, while another 22 percent have partially complied with the law.
County Council Member George Leventhal successfully pushed for the menus, feeling they will be a benefit for customers and may also get restaurants to improve the quality of the food they serve. The county was supposed to start fining establishments who did not post the menus at the start of the year, but no fines have been issued. Leventhal says he's OK with that.
"That was pretty consistent with other requirements, such as no smoking and no trans-fats. It takes time to adjust to something new," he says. "They're chain restaurants but they are independent franchise operations. You've got individual owners who may not have kept up with some new government requirement, they're just trying to make a living."
There's no timetable to start issuing the fines, but county inspectors do not expect to get to all of the nearly 800 restaurants that must follow the law until the end of this year.
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