AUSTIN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is weighing a fast food franchise’s appeal to remove an item from a menu for a high-calorie, high-fat burger, according to a regulatory filing obtained by The Associated Press.
The request, filed with the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday, seeks to prevent a fast-food franchise from removing a burger from its menu because of the added calories, sodium and fat.
The FDA previously granted a franchise the right to remove the burger from the menu after it determined that it contained a significant amount of saturated fat, according the filing.
However, a spokesperson for the FDA said Wednesday that the agency was considering the franchise’s request to remove a burger.
“The FDA is reviewing the franchise owner’s request, and we are in the process of reviewing the request,” the spokesperson said.
“We will determine if the requested action is appropriate based on the facts and circumstances at this time.”
The request seeks to ban the franchise from replacing the burger with a hamburger with fewer calories, less saturated fat and less calories from added sugar and sodium.
A franchised restaurant that sells only hamburgers would have to comply with the law by removing the burger by May 31.
The FDA has previously upheld the franchisees’ request to replace a burger with one that contains fewer calories.
A spokesman for the fast-casual chain said it is evaluating the FDA’s request.
Fast food restaurants are currently barred from serving sugary and calorie-laden food.
The federal government has recently enacted a law that prohibits restaurants from selling items that contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, preservative-free cheese and artificial colors.
Fast food restaurants have long been prohibited from serving foods that contain trans fats.