Calorie labelling law to come into force from 6 April

From the 6 April 2022, The Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021 will come into force.

These regulations require qualifying businesses in England that sell food for immediate consumption to display calorie information on menus and food labels.

Why is the law coming into force?

 The government has released statistics estimating that overweight and obesity-related conditions across the UK cost the NHS £6.1 billion each year. Almost two-thirds (63%) of adults in England are overweight or living with obesity – and 1 in 3 children leave primary school overweight or obese.

The aim of the regulations is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to make healthier, informed food choices for themselves and their families.

What is expected of businesses?

The regulations will require businesses with 250 or more employees in England – including but not limited to cafes, restaurants and takeaways – to display the calorie information of non-prepacked food and soft drink items that are prepared for customers.

Calorie information will need to be displayed at the point of choice for the customer, such as physical menus, online menus, food delivery platforms and food labels (such as buffet labels).

Exemptions

Certain establishments where food is provided in-house are exempt from the new regulations.

This includes, but is not limited to, educational institutions for those over 18 years old, a hospital or other medical institution, a care home or other institution providing social care, and a canteen at a workplace providing food to employees.

Certain food offerings are also exempt including, but not limited to, foods for particular audiences (such as food offered by charities, and food that is provided at an educational institution for pupils below the age of 18 years old), food which is on a menu temporarily (less than 30 consecutive days and a total of 30 days in any year), and alcoholic drinks (over 1.2% ABV).

However, where the food is provided by another organisation (such as a contract caterer) with 250 or more employees, calorie information must be displayed.

Displaying calorie information

Businesses selling food in scope of the Regulations must:

  • display the energy content of the food in kilocalories (kcal)
  • reference the size of the portion to which the calorie information relates
  • display the statement that ‘adults need around 2000 kcal a day’ (for the purposes of this guidance, this statement will be referred to as the ‘statement of daily calorie needs’)

This information must be displayed at the point of choice, either:

  • on a menu (such as menu boards, electronic menus, online and third-party delivery app menus), or
  • on a label for food items on display (such as display cases, shelves, and buffets)

The information must be easily visible, clearly legible, and not in any way hidden or obscured. This information must be provided by default; however businesses can provide menus without this information to customers if they request it.

How Citation can help

Need any help? If you have any questions about how these regulations will affect your business, please email us at ask@citation.co.uk.

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