Menu labelling has arrived in Ontario!

Now that the new legislation is here restaurant goers will begin to notice calorie counts posted in restaurants and other food service venues like grocery stores and movie theatres.

What does this mean?
labelled menu board Jan_17It means that each regular menu item should have a calorie count beside it in the same prominence on the menu as the name of the item or its price. It may be a single number or it may be a range, depending on the items and how it can be ordered.

For instance, an item (like a burger) which can be ordered with different toppings and side dishes will show a range of caloric values. It is up to the customer to decipher the information as it pertains to how they are ordering the menu item.

The contextual statement
In addition, each menu or menu board will also display a contextual statement which provides diners within information on how many calories the average person needs in one day.  It states “The average adult requires approximately 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day; however, needs may vary.” This is just a guideline as people’s caloric needs vary greatly depending on factors like age, sex and activity levels.

Will this change your decision when dining out?
Toronto Public Health believes that menu labelling is one tool to help consumers make an informed decision about what they are eating when dining out. We hope you will find the new menu information helpful and would love to hear how (or if) our readers use it when making your decisions.  Please leave a comment below or send an email to

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