Calorie listing in pubs seen as unworkable

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Related tags: Food standards agency, Food

By Tony Halstead Proposals by the Food Standards Agency to force pubs to list the calorie, fat and additive content of all food and drink items sold...

By Tony Halstead Proposals by the Food Standards Agency to force pubs to list the calorie, fat and additive content of all food and drink items sold on their premises have been condemned by trade leaders. The agency, which is pushing for the new labelling proposals to be introduced Europe-wide, believes the move would have a dramatic long-term impact on the nation's health ­ and admits sharp rises in obesity is one of the reasons for the move. But Federation of Licensed Victuallers chief executive Tony Payne said the proposals were impractical and unreasonable. "I think this is way over the top and something which licensees and pub chefs would find just about impossible to carry out. "You are asking people to calculate the calorie level of every ingredient which goes into a meal, and if you are talking about a casserole or a pie then you are faced with an insurmountable task," he said. Payne said it was perfectly reasonable for pub menus to contain details of substances which might affect people with allergies, such as nuts. "But these proposals appear to be yet another case of regulations which have simply not been properly thought out," he added. Licensee John Hughes, whose Hest Bank pub near Lancaster serves an average 1,500 meals per week, said calorie counting every dish would be unworkable. "It was bad enough trying to establish the GM content of food because some suppliers were not certain themselves. "As far as calories go, most people surely know whether a meal they order is fattening or calorie-ridden and tend to choose on that basis," he said. But FSA chief executive Geoffrey Padger said: "We believe that people should have a right to choose. Restaurants are currently giving customers too little information.

Related topics: Healthy options

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