Soon, restaurants to display a calorie intake chart for patrons

India’s food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked restaurants to voluntarily print calorie counts on their menus to promote healthy eating habits

Image source: Google
Image source: Google

Restaurants will be required to promote safe and healthy eating practices and help consumers in making informed choices through calorie information labelling.

The food regulator has also proposed to limit the maximum trans-fat content in vegetable oils, vegetable fat and hydrogenated vegetable oil to 2% by weight as part of its goal to make India trans-fat-free by 2022.

The regulator has invited the top food companies, QSR chains, oil companies and organised retailers to join the self-regulation exercise.

The objections and suggestions, which may be received from any person with respect to the said draft regulations before the expiry of the period so specified, will be considered by the Food Authority.

Display of information in food service establishments

Food Service Establishments having Central license or outlets at 10 or more locations shall display the calorific value of each of the food items sold by them on their menu cards or boards. Additionally, reference information on the requirements of 2000 Kcal energy for an average adult per day shall also be displayed clearly and prominently.

Food Service Establishments shall display the information specified below at the point of sale or service of the food:

  • Any warning/gluten free and low gluten status in food; and
  • Information relating to statutory declarations required under these regulations;
  • Information relating to allergens in the food;
  • Logo for veg or non-veg;
  • Information relating to organic food or ingredients.

E-commerce Food Business Operators shall also provide this information in the menu linked with each food service establishment on their platform, where applicable.

These provisions shall not be applicable to the following:

  • Event caterers and Food Service premises that operate for less than 60 days in a calendar year (consecutively or non-consecutively).
  • Self-serve condiments that are free of charge and not listed on the menu.
  • Special-order items or modified meals and menu items as per customer’s request.
  • Food Service Establishments shall also keep written nutritional information on the food items sold by them in the form of booklets or hand-outs or on their website which shall be provided to consumers upon request.

While speaking too My Medical Mantra, Dr Shilpa Joshi, a dietician from  Diet and Health Centre, Mumbai, said, “It’s a welcome decision taken by the government. But, not only for the big hotels, I believe that the government should make it mandatory for the smaller establishments too. People should know how many calories they are eating at a time. This will help create awareness among people.”

Priyanka, a dietician based in Mumbai, said, “If the information about calories is given on the menu card, and if it is effectively applied, then people can easily choose what they want to eat.”