Health Dept seeks menu calorie views

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has announced a national consultation by the Department of Health to seek views on legislation for the introduction of mandatory posting of calories on menus.

The consultation is based on the Government’s proposed Health & Wellbeing Bill which will apply to non pre-packaged food served by food businesses for immediate consumption on or off the premises.

All interested parties are invited to communicate their views by completing an online questionnaire. The consultation will close on 28th October 2015.

The proposed legislation applies to food businesses regardless of size, type of food sold, type of ownership or location. It will require all menus, including boards, leaflets and digital menus to display calorie details alongside the price in the same font size and colour. It’s proposed that calorie amounts will be displayed in Kcal (Kilo calories) and KJ (Kilo Joules) using a verifiable tool for calorie counting such as MenuCal – a free online calorie calculator developed by the FSAI to assist food businesses.

As part of the consultation, the Department of Health seeks opinions on specific aspects of the proposed legislation and its implementation. For example, views are sought in relation to calculating and displaying calorie information for food served at self-service buffets; menu specials for sale less than 30 days of the year; loose food such as sandwich fillings served in delis; food meant for sharing and multi-portion or ‘combo meals’.



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