Calorie Count To Be Listed in Restaurant Menus

September 26, 2011

In February 2012, restaurants and fast food chains in New South Wales, Australia will have to display calorie counts on their menus.  It will be the country’s first state to enforce the fast food chain regulation, Fast Choices legislation.  The restaurants will have to display the average energy content of all the food in their menus, including the average adult daily energy intake of 8700 kilojoules (2100 calories).  This legislation gives consumers “more knowledge and power” over their diet, according to small business minister Katrina Hodgkinson, "I welcome any initiative that not only encourages people to think about the food they consume, but also ensures that food outlets provide accessible nutritional information to their customers." Non-compliance of the regulation means that restaurants will face heavy fines and penalties.

40 food chains are covered on the food law, a total of 2700 outlets in the state.  It includes supermarkets, bakeries, pizza parlors, coffee and juice bar chains that serves ready-to-eat foods in standard portions with regular sizes and content.  Cafes and other restaurants are not required to display calorie count but food authority encourages to do so.  McDonalds already pledged to start implementing by November.

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