Nutrition Information in Food Establishments

       Nutrition Analysis with Label

       Nutrition Analysis with Label

When the Affordable Care Act of 2010 passed the FDA mandated disclosure of certain nutrition information for standard menu items inside certain restaurants and retail food establishments by December of 2015. The requirement is for any restaurant chain of 20 locations or more doing business under the same name and offering similar items to provide calorie content and other nutritional information for standard menu items, food on display and self-service food. Providing accurate, clear nutrition information in food establishments will make information direct and accessible for consumers to make informed and healthy dietary choices. The question is whether or not this will impact food establishments preparation of food and consumers decisions to make healthier choices.
The FDA has since extended the compliance date till May 7, 2018 to better understand the food establishments' regulatory burden to determine more flexibility for: a) calorie disclosure signage for self-service foods, including buffets and grab-and-go foods; (b) methods for providing calorie disclosure information other than on the menu itself; and (c) criteria for distinguishing between menus and other information presented to the consumer. The comments are open for 60 days.
The FDA invites others to participate and we have you covered in that area. In our experience customers gain trust in an establishment when they're vulnerable enough to put calories on the menu and/or at least have the information available upon request.
So what do you think about having Nutrition Information available on your menu or as a consumer would you like to see it available? We would love your feedback.

Till next time have a great week!

Learning from Chipotle's adopted Food Safety Plans

Learning from Chipotle's adopted Food Safety Plans

Inside scoop on Chipotle's adopted Food Safety Plans

adapted from: Inside Chipotle's food safety overhaul by Joel Crews

Since the foodborne illness outbreak in 2015 with 55 cases of E. coli O26 across 11 states followed by the discovery of norovirus at a Boston-based restaurant that reportedly made 80 customers sick, Chipotle Mexican Grill have taken aggressive steps to rebuild its image and bolster its food safety practices. Restaurant margins are slim and customers are quick to learn with information everywhere so it is so important to maintain a healthy image that gains the trust of your customer. As billions in sales along with the stock market value plummeting the company’s founder, Steve Ells, announced his commitment to making the restaurant chain the safest in the industry, which included focusing on vulnerabilities in the supply chain, training its 65,000 employees and enhancing food safety practices at 2,200 locations. 
Chipotle hired two Ph. D food safety experts that adopted technologies to improve the safety of the food. This included two of its suppliers providing sous-vide for the beef, OSI Industries and Ed Miniat L.L.C. “We used to bring raw steak into our restaurants,” said Dr. Dexter, but soon after adopting the technology, the meat suppliers were cooking 800,000 lbs of beef per week to control risks, which also just happened to improve the quality of the product. High pressure processing (HPP) is another intervention adopted by Chipotle to treat its chorizo sausage, another raw product that contains chicken and pork and is shipped to the company’s restaurants each day. Packages of chorizo are shipped to an HPP tolling facility as a final intervention before shipping. The HPP process also increased the shelf life of the sausage to approximately 30 days, according to Dr. Dexter. As for the vegetables used in the eateries, blanching is the kill step used at each location for now, Dr. Dexter said. At each restaurant, two employees are typically scheduled to come in two hours earlier than the rest of the crew with the purpose of immersing avocados, bell peppers, onions, jalapeños and citrus fruits in boiling water for five seconds.

The company has updated its sanitation supplies in the restaurants, said Dr. Dexter, including the use of PURE Bioscience Hard Surface cleaner. Stores were equipped with REME HALO in-duct air purifier systems to address airborne bacteria and IMSB Ice Machine Sanitizer systems to minimize risks associated with ice production.  Chipotle has also partnered for food safety audits in addition to using the expertise of FoodLogiQ as part of its Supplier Management and Traceability Program. Despite the fact the chain only works with 65 ingredients, said Dr. Dexter, “you have to be able to track it; it has to be defensible.” The restaurant operations focused on implementing 12 critical control points, creating a web-based Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan and Bluetooth thermometers linked to a digital alert system.  Training also included HACCP-certifying Chipotle’s 400 Field Leaders and ongoing food safety training with restaurant workers using iPads that are designed to engage employees by entertaining and informing.

Regardless if you are a small production facility or restaurant we know it's important to have a plan in place that creates consistency around serving safe food and ensuring your customers always trust in the hard work you bring to the table day in and day out. Know we will continue to develop state of the art services to ensure, like chipotle, you get to be the best at what you do.

March Happenings

March is jam packed with exciting food events such as SA Flavor with 30+ local Chefs preparing a beautiful network scene with delicious samples and drinks. Austin's SXSW is hosting convergence tracks where the food track alone has over 40 events to choose from by some of the community's most inspired entrepreneurs, chefs, scientists, investors, filmmakers and enthusiasts all looking to transform the industry. Look for us at both events we would love to connect. 
It is National Nutrition Month and the theme is putting your best fork forward with simple swaps to make a lasting impact. New Years resolutions have come and gone and now is the time to march forward with controlling what you put in your mouth to create a healthier lifestyle. Take simple steps by learning how at our Healthy Cooking Class on March 21st where a healthy delicious dinner will be provided. Nutrition is the key to quality of life, producing the results you want to see daily in each area of your life.

In Food Safety News the lastest scare is listeria in artisan cheeses. If you are a cheese connoisseur with Vulto brand on hand you want to take precautionary measures to rid that cheese. Carefully remove the cheese to disgard, thoroughly wash and santize your hands along with everything the cheese contacted in order to properly remove the dangerous strain. To learn more go to

If you will allow me I'll put one more shameless plug for our upcoming Food Manager Training on March 16th at Launch SA to learn more click 

Thank you for all you do for the food community. Make sure you click suscribe for more exciting news on Nutrition & Food Safety.
Matthew Molpus

How to avoid the dirty food place list

Will your food establishment be put on blast?

As I read through last weeks dirty food establishment list on mysa I wondered if any of the victims anticipated the cost? The cost of turning up on a list of dirty restaurants creates problems with customer trust and is certainly a hard sale to redeem at the expense of non-compliance. The responsibility of any food establishment is to serve safe food and create a culture around food safety. The aim should be compliance around the clock with consistency at the helm steering the sails towards a pro-active team delivering great food and service. No one should procrastinate towards an anticipated inspection to aimlessly hope all will turn up well. Each establishment counts the cost of marketing to build a good report and drive traffic through the door. Do you really want to go backwards with a bad food safety review?

That is why we provide Food Safety Management Certification as an innovative, crash course (4 hr training, max 2 hr exam), with a nutrition professional that is fun and provides applicable tips to apply to the establishments now. This is an incredible opportunity at a low cost to equip you as a manager with all the need to know information to maintain a safe food establishment, train food handlers on necessary SOPs, prepare you for audits/inspections, and much more. Our goal is to equip the entire food industry such as Restaurants, Food Trucks, Farmers Market Food Vendors, Caterers, Retailers, Product Manufacturers, etc. The Food code states that at least one Food Safety Manager is required per shift. If you wanted to take the course online you would need to hire a proctor to be present.

Our national accredited course is an incredible hands on, classroom learning environment where folks gain tremendous value. With the online courses most simply fall asleep and press a button until they get the right answer with no knowledge gained or material refreshed to provide creative strategies to reduce the $15 billion food borne illness problem in the U.S. Let's work towards creating a culture around food safety.

We are also now providing consulting on product development and manufacturing along with Food Safety Audits, HACCP Training and plans to put into practice. We hope you will take advantage of this course and look forward to serving you.

To see last weeks list of dirty food establishments click below. Our aim is to never have you on this list.

New Nutrition Fact Labels after 20 years

New Nutrition Fact Labels after 20 years

FDA modernizes Nutrition Fact Labels after 20 years

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took a bold step by updating nutritional information to make sure consumers make informed decisions when it comes to packaged foods. "I am thrilled that the FDA has finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label that will be on food products nationwide, " said First Lady Michelle Obama. "This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices." Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D. said, "The updated label makes improvements to this valuable resource so consumers can make more informed food choices - one of the most important steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity."

The Key Updates to consider on the new Nutrition Facts label are:

  • An updated design will highlight calories and servings

  • Serving sizes will more closely reflect amounts of food that folks currently eat. What and how much food & beverage has changed since the last update in 1993.

  • Added sugars will help consumers know how much sugar was added to the product. It is difficult to maintain calorie limits if you consume more than 10% of your total daily calories from added sugars. It is scientific evidence based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  • A "Dual Column" will show per serving and per package for certain multi-serving food products consumed in one or multiple sittings. Such as a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips. Now it will be easier to understand how much is consumed if the entire food or drink is finished in one sitting.

  • Daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D are available as a reference amount not to exceed and are used to calculate the percentage that manufactures need to include on the label.

  • Vitamin D and potassium were added to include the actual gram amount and percent daily value. These are important nutrients some folks are not getting enough of which leads to a greater risk of chronic disease. Vitamin A and C will no longer be necessary to list as deficiencies in these are rare in the typical American diet.

  • Calories from Fat will be removed as research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount. 

Most food manufactures are required to update to the new label by July 26, 2018. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply with the new rules. Our hope is that the updated information will be easier to navigate for consumers to be informed of the food choices they're making to maintain healthy dietary practices. We hope to be the go to for all individuals wanting to better understand what they're consuming. We want to be the source of information and updating for food manufacturers in the southwest region.

Food Addictions created by the Food Giants

Are we addicted to food? I often wonder why I make certain food choices and I've seen addictions in many forms within my community. Michael Moss was a keynote speaker at Trinity University to bring awareness from his intense investigation on the Food Industry. He wrote Salt Sugar Fat which is my next read after seeing his knowledge and insight on the topic. I want to highlight some key interesting elements I learned.

The rise of processed foods begin after World War II when moms went to work. The TV began marketing campaigns selling convenience and government subsidies allowed cheap, affordable foods to be manufactured. Junk food is delicious, very convenient and we can agree not good to indulge in. What most don't realize is there is math and extensive science behind making food irresistible and profitable. The right amount of sugar is referred to as the Blisspoint, the exact amount of salt is the "Flavor Burst", and when fat is just right it creates the perfect "mouth feel". Unheard of terms like "Moreish" used to describe possible improvements, Sensory Specific Satiety to determine declining appetite and re-generated ones, Vanishing Calorie Density is when your mind tells you "its ok eat more" and Flavor Enhancers mask certain flavors. These are all used to determine the calculated science behind the billion dollar brands. Now there are three pillars that Michael talks about to bring light to the problems created and these are the same pillars we Nutrition professionals want to limit. 

The first pillar Salt enhances flavor, masks others, adds crunchiness and delays spoilage. The problem is that salt directly increase blood pressure to which we have a huge problem with hypertension in this nation. Interesting fact about salt is that Roman soldiers were paid wages in salt hence the phrase "you aren't worth your salt". Just my observation but because salt was such a high commodity it was readily available and still dominates the food industry as a cheap ingredient. The second pillar Sugar has many uses as a delicious ingredient but has been on trial since the 70's. The problem has never been about salt or sugar but the copious amounts in everything we eat which creates health epidemics like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, etc. The third pillar is Fat which has many uses for its "ooey-gooey feeling". The problem is the type of fat we get in our diet and the food industries rely heavily on saturated fat from animals. 

So with obesity and related diseases sweeping the nation these Food Giants are claiming a measure of responsibility. They have done campaigns like Kraft's Anit-obesity campaign and Campbell's Reduced Salt Campaign. It is evident the Food Industry will create what our food dollar demands so being mindful of the choices we get to make certainly moves the dial on what is manufactured. Lets support the healthier options their making to show them we care about what we put into our bodies. For our food industry partners please consider making a healthier menu option for those striding to make better choices. Stay tuned as we continue to look for ways to inform you, inspire you and ensure you are living Truly Well.

Your Friend,

Matthew Molpus

Happy Kids are those who Eat Right

Happy Kids are those who Eat Right

            August is when parents start to anticipate kids returning to school. It’s around this time we scramble to get new clothes, school supplies, snacks and everything else prior to the big return.  August is also promoted as kids eat right month in hopes to create healthy habits. I’m often asked questions about the importance of breakfast, shopping smart, healthy meals and snack ideas for the kiddos. We get to teach on these and more exciting topics every week at True Wellness. What I know is that every parent should desire to raise a healthy, happy kid.

            What are the kids eating this summer? A key to kids eating healthier is to get them involved in the cooking. Kids like to cook and feel empowered to help make decisions around the dinner table. Depending on the child’s age they can wash produce, set the table, make meatballs, stir, crack an egg and even help create recipe ideas. Another key is to ensure there are healthy options readily available for meals and snacks. It is important to make sure there are fruits & veggies, whole grain options, lean meats, plant based protein options (ie. peanut butter), and low fat dairy options. The variety of food groups will help them create meals and snacks based on MyPlate messages found at This is a great resource for your family to discover tips and tricks on how to create a healthy plate and snacks that fit your needs. Since the Dietary Guidelines for Americans of 2015 you can find fun initiatives and challenges around creating healthy plates while tracking your daily consumption at The kids can also get involved by visiting where they will learn the importance of healthy eating. If you will allow me to say the information is here you just have to want to make the lifestyle choices around healthy living for your family.

           There are so many resources to live a healthier, happier life and it is important to start with the next generation. Our kids are the future so we at True Wellness focus on them with our “Healthy Cooking for the Next Generation” classes. We invite students 5th-12th grade along with their families to participate in an eleven week program where we discuss a new Nutrition topic, kitchen skill and recipe each week. The best part is we create a healthy meal together and they get to take home the ingredients to duplicate that meal. The fall program will begin on September 7th. You can find more information and register on our website at Till next time we hope you stay Truly Well!

By: Matthew Molpus, Nutritionist

When you shop are you getting what you paid for?

Revised from Food & Nutrition Magazine July/August 2016

Recent stories showcase imported olive oil labeled as "extra virgin" when it is actually a lower grade of olive oil, cheap variations of fish portrayed as pricier types and Parmesan cheese which contains high amounts of cellulose. These stories are leaving consumers in shock about the safety and quality of the foods they purchase. Michigan State University's Food Fraud Initiative defines food fraud as "deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, dilution, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, ingredients, packaging, or false and misleading statements about a product for economic gain. Although the economic impact is tough to calculate it is estimated by the Grocery Manufacturers Association that certain types of food and consumer product fraud cost the global food industry $10-15 billion annually. "The food industry is implementing more sophisticated and accurate methods to detect fraud, such as DNA testing and Genome Sequencing of fish to ensure authenticity" says John Spink. 

Consumers can take steps to reduce their risk of being deceived:

  • Be aware of common foods that fall under fraud. Visit
  • Use your food dollar at trusted retailers and small food stores that purchase local goods as they may take extra steps to ensure safe products arrive at their store.
  • Be cautious of bargain prices on expensive foods such as saffron and extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Purchase whole foods that are less processed.
  • If you suspect fraud file a complaint at

Our focus at True Wellness is to ensure safe food is delivered and to help folks answer the question, "Are you Truly Well"? Till next time stay tuned for more on time information and check out our new website for up to date resources on helping you live "healthier".

-Matthew Molpus, Nutritionist at True Wellness

What does it mean to eat local?


By: Matthew Molpus, Nutritionist

What happened to the thought of what you grew or knew is what you ate?   Well our society has evolved into a culture of convenience and luxury. We shop at supermarkets and expect them to provide year-round availability to buy whatever we want whenever even when it’s not in season. Now we enjoy the convenience of our food but can’t deny the fact that perhaps we have created some of the problems we face as a nation that stem from processed and outsourced foods that fail to provide nutrient dense options. If we could get back to enjoying delicious local and seasonal foods we could positively influence our health. The question is what does it mean to eat local?

Eating Local means incorporating seasonal foods into our diet to receive the following benefits:

   Experiencing flavor vs. good looks: Purchase produce in season for flavor rather than good looks where out of season produce has a makeover from wax, chemicals and preservatives.

   Connecting to real food: Make a conscious effort to buy SEASONAL food to connect with the food on your plate while enjoying delicious food.

   Benefiting the Local Economy: Commit to buy locally produced food that will benefit the local farmers, environment and your personal health.

   Gaining access to locally grown food: Buy from local Farmers’ Markets to gain access to locally sourced food that will provide many benefits while promoting LOCAL food.

   Cooking with creativity and flexibility: Develop delicious seasonal dishes that will captivate your plate and provide adventure in the culinary world.

   Understanding the nutritional value of fresh food: Make healthy selections from produce picked at the peak of ripeness and EAT in season to provide a rainbow of colorful and diverse foods that provide a higher nutritional content with compounds that help us prevent disease (phytochemicals.

   Savings in your pocket: Choose produce in season because when it’s more available it’s cheaper.

   Planting your food: Experience planting your own food and educating those you love of the importance of FRESH food.

   Knowing your food and those that grow it: Enjoy the tastes, challenges, relationships you develop with local farmers, and the knowledge of knowing you’re doing something great for yourself.

Support your Local Farmers’ Market and put into practice the meaning of Eating Local!

Is Food Safety a priority?

The US spends $15 Billion annually on food borne illness. With each food establishment mandated by law to have each staff take a food handler's course, at least one food safety manager on site at all times and the local health department checking in.......why is this healthcare problem turning into a crisis? It appears the emphasis is on the training but that perhaps the training and certification process are just not enough to create consistency. Food safety prevention starts with making it a priority day in and day out. It is the right of each consumer to receive safe food.

Our passion at True Wellness is to equip and refresh Food Safety Managers and staff on the importance of Food Safety while generating consistency in the procedures of prevention. Our crash courses are quick and to the point while we showcase easy to remember SOPs to follow that will place Food Safety as a number one priority.