What is the Healthy Menu Choices Act?
As of January 1st, 2017, the Healthy Menu Choices Act requires large food service chains to display calorie information on menus for standard food items. This applies to food premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario and includes restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, grocery stores, movie theatres, and public-facing cafeterias.
Specifically, the Act requires these food service premises to:
- Display the number of calories for every standard food item and self-serve item, on menus (including menu boards), labels and display tags.
- Display a contextual statement to help educate customers about their daily caloric requirements. By Jan. 1, 2018, the following statement must read “Adults and youth (ages 13 and older) need an average of 2,000 calories a day, and children (ages 4 to 12) need an average of 1,500 calories a day. However, individual needs vary.”
Public Health Inspectors are designated under the Act to ensure compliance with requirements and carry out enforcement. Failure to comply with the Act can lead to fines.
For more information contact your local Public Health inspector or visit the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s online Guide to Menu Labelling Requirements