Menu labelling in Ontario
On May 28th, 2015, the Province of Ontario passed legislation (Bill 45, Making Healthier Choices Act, 2015) to make menu labelling a requirement for larger chain restaurants. The new legislation comes into effect January 2017.
What is menu labelling?
Menu labelling means providing nutrition information on the menu or menu board in restaurants and food service establishments.
Why menu labelling?
Menu labelling helps people make informed choices when dining out. It’s hard to know what’s in your restaurant meal; it may look healthy but it’s easy to underestimate the amount of calories and sodium. Many restaurant chains already provide nutrition information to customers who ask for it. Momentum is growing for this information; people want to know the nutritional value of their food.
What does this mean?
All restaurants within Ontario with 20 locations or more will be required to display the number of calories for all food and beverage items on their menus or menu boards. To help consumers better understand their choices, a statement about average daily calorie requirements will also be required. This applies to all food service establishments including grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and movie theatres.
Are there any exclusions?
Day cares, schools, correctional institutes and establishments that are open for 90 days or less such as farmers markets, are exempt from the regulation.
How will this be enforced?
Public Health Inspectors will be monitoring to ensure compliance.
Is there a penalty if a restaurant or food service doesn’t comply?
Failure to comply with this regulation may result in the following fines:
$500/day for the first offence
$1,000/day for a second or further offence
$5,000 /day for a first offence
$10,000 for each subsequent offence