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Chain Restaurants Commonly Exceed Federal Nutritional Recommendations

EMSL Analytical offers food testing and nutritional labeling services to help inform consumers about what they eat.


Last month, USA Today published an article about a recent study conducted by the Rand Corporation and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The article focused on restaurants and the fact that 96% of main entrees sold at leading chain restaurants exceed daily limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat.

The article states, “If you plan to chow down tonight at a big chain restaurant, there’s a better than nine-in-ten chance that your entree will fail to meet federal nutrition recommendations for both adults and kids…”  Almost 31,000 menu items, from 245 restaurant brands, were researched for the study.

Interestingly, the article found that entrees at family-style restaurants had on average more calories, fat and sodium than their fast food counterparts. The article also warned of “calorie bombs” in many popular appetizers.

One company that has been helping to inform consumers about the nutritional content of their food is EMSL Analytical, Inc.  EMSL is one of the country’s leading food testing and nutritional labeling laboratories.  The company provides their services to the general public, restaurants, food manufacturers and food retailers.

“The information found in the Rand Corporation study should open people’s eyes to the need for nutritional labeling at restaurants across the nation,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “An informed consumer is in a much better position to decide if the food products they feed themselves and their family meets their criteria for a wholesome and nutritious meal. Clear and concise food labeling in restaurants would provide the same transparency that consumers are afforded when they shop for groceries at their local market,” he continued.  

To learn more about nutritional labeling or other food testing services, please visit: or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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