July 22, 2016
Following extensive consultation, Ontario is proposing various improvements to clarify its menu labelling regulation.
The regulation for menu labelling, which is made under the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015, will come into force on January 1, 2017 and will help Ontarians make healthier food and beverage choices when dining or ordering out. It will also help to raise public awareness about the calorie content of food and beverages eaten outside the home.
Owners and operators of food service premises that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations in Ontario will be required to display calorie information for every standard food and beverage item on their menus, and on display tags/labels or signs where standard food items are put on display or are self-serve. They will also be required to post a contextual statement regarding average daily calorie requirements to help consumers put the calorie information into context.
The ministry has posted the proposed amendments to the menu labelling regulation and is inviting the public to give feedback for the next 15 days.
The current regulation, which was filed on March 4, 2016, is available online here.
The proposed amendments, which are available online here, include:
"Approximate daily calorie needs are as follows, however individual calorie needs may vary:
The updated contextual statement would come into effect on January 1, 2018.
From January 1, 2017-December 31, 2017, restaurants would be required to include the previously posted contextual statement:
"The average adult requires approximately 2,000 to 2,400 cals per day; however, individual calorie needs may vary."
Members of the food and beverage industry may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
"Providing caloric information on menus is part of the government's plan to raise awareness and help families make healthier choices when dining out. I'm pleased that we're moving forward to strengthen Ontario's menu labelling regulation and encourage interested Ontarians to provide feedback."
- Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"As more Ontarians enjoy dining outside the home, menu labelling will empower individuals and parents to make informed choices to better their health and that of their families. Our Association is pleased to see the Ontario government taking these next steps in collaboration with the business community to implement menu labelling and create an environment that values health for all."
- Ellen Wodchis, President, Ontario Public Health Association
"The Ontario Convenience Stores Association welcomes the government's commitment to transparency with regards to menu labelling in Ontario. As responsible community retailers, committed to the health and safety of the 2.7 million Ontarians that use our stores on a daily basis, our industry recognizes this as an important step in encouraging healthier lifestyles. The government has worked closely with our sector to add clarity to the regulation and I'm pleased that they're moving forward to post the proposed amendments publicly."
- Dave Bryans, CEO, Ontario Convenience Stores Association
"The Ontario government should be congratulated in leading efforts to bring menu calorie labelling to Ontario. Providing parents with more information on the amount of calories children need will help them and their children make healthier choices when eating out."
- Mary R. L'Abbé, PhD, Earle W. McHenry Professor and Chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto
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