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Ontario’s calorie-posting legislation not as simple as it appears: Restaurants Canada


November 25, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

Topics

Nov. 25, 2014, Toronto – The plan
announced today by the Ontario government to require calorie posting in
restaurants will require complex regulations that will take time and industry
collaboration to be successful, says Restaurants Canada.

Nov. 25, 2014, Toronto – The plan
announced today by the Ontario government to require calorie posting in
restaurants will require complex regulations that will take time and industry
collaboration to be successful, says Restaurants Canada.

“As we have seen in the U.S. and U.K., the many variables
when it comes to preparing and serving restaurant meals make calorie posting
regulations very complex,” said James Rilett, vice-president, Ontario, for
Restaurants Canada, in a news release. “The United States FDA has been working
on regulations for five years. This calls for a collaborative effort between
government and industry to get the complex regulations right.”

Ontario’s restaurant industry has worked to provide calorie
information to customers for many years, in various formats. In addition, many
restaurants have changed recipes and introduced healthier options, and several
chain restaurants voluntarily participated in a national program to provide
nutritional information to all customers in a standard format.

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“There are some unique challenges in a restaurant
environment,” said Rilett. “Calorie counts can only be provided when there is a
high degree of standardization. While this is common in food manufacturing,
it’s the exception in a restaurant setting.” 

A typical breakfast menu offers a good example of the
challenge of calorie posting, said the release. A “breakfast special” offers
the choice of scrambled, poached, fried or boiled eggs; white or whole grain
toast, with or without butter, jam, peanut butter, or honey; ham, bacon,
sausage or a fruit bowl; orange, grapefruit, cranberry, apple juice, coffee or
tea with or without milk, cream, or sugar. All of these choices have an effect
on caloric intake.

The organization will continue its conversation with the
province to ensure an effective and workable solution.