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Menu Labelling Bill in Effect January 1st, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 5th, 2017

SIMCOE, ONTARIO– You might have noticed calories popping up on restaurant menus over the past few months. The New Year officially brings the implementation of the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (Bill 45). This act requires all large chain food premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario to display calorie information on menus and menu boards. This includes restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores and convenience stores.

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is excited to support this act as it gives the public the ability to make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families. Ontario is the first province in Canada to pass menu labelling legislation.

Bill 45 requires large food service premises with 20 or more locations to:

  • Label menus and menu boards with calorie information for standard food and beverage items, including alcohol.
  • Provide context to displayed calorie information by referencing daily caloric requirements.

The Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit will be responsible for ensuring food premises are in compliance with the legislation with inspections conducted by public health inspectors.

While the current legislation only requires calories to be displayed, it does not close the door for other nutrients to be added in the future. “Other nutrients such as sodium, fat, fibre and sugar are also important to take under consideration when making food choices,” said Molly Campbell, public health dietitian at the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “You can always ask for additional information.  Most large chain restaurants have complete nutrition information in store or on their website.”

Each year in Canada, the proportion of meals consumed outside of the home is on the rise. The labelling changes may encourage restaurants to carry healthier options or to modify existing recipes to increase nutritional value.

To learn more about the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (Bill 45) please visit hnhu.org/HMCA

Media contact:
Molly Campbell
Public Health Dietitian
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3247
Molly.Campbell@hnhu.org