FSA calls for calorie listing

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Every pub and restaurant in the UK will have to list the calorie content of all the food and drink on their menus under new government plans.The Food...

Every pub and restaurant in the UK will have to list the calorie content of all the food and drink on their menus under new government plans.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed it is to campaign for menu labelling legislation after its plans were highlighted by a Sunday newspaper.

An FSA spokeswoman said: "This is nothing new. We are still in favour of such legislation and will recommend that it be implemented."

The proposed law would be enforced across Europe requiring pubs to inform customers about the fat, additive and calorie content of their meals.

In some pubs the law could mean an end to home-made food, with licensees having to rely on pre-prepared dishes from catering companies which can supply the necessary information.

"It's nigh on impossible to work out calorie content in food cooked from scratch," said Anthony Goodrich, licensee of the Rose and Crown in Snettisham, Norfolk."I have no idea how my chef would cope with a law like that."

The FSA is concerned that many restaurants use oils, fats and sugars in sauces and dressings. This leads to "hidden calories" and means the customer often underestimate the full calorie count.

Geoffrey Podger, the FSA's chief executive said new labelling could have a positive effect on the health of the nation.

But critics have slammed the plans, saying they will lead to yet more unnecessary red tape for licensees.

David Harrold, director of the Restaurant Association, said: "This latest proposed regulation from the FSA is totally unnecessary. The way the increased regulations are going will only serve to completely take away all the enjoyment of dining out.

"A chef is concerned with preparing high quality dishes for customers and has no time to measure every calorie or gram of fat in each menu item. People who dine out want to enjoy a quality meal in a pleasant atmosphere and want to read a description of what they're eating not a breakdown of its calorific and fat content.

"The majority of the dining-out public know what they should or should not eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle."

Related topics: Healthy options

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