Do You Want Fries or Salad with That? Ontario Passes Act Requiring Labelling of Calories on Food and Drink Menus
May 28, 2015
By Jennifer McKenzie and Tamarah Luk
In an effort to curb obesity rates, the Ontario provincial government will be requiring food establishments in Ontario operating under the same name with 20 or more locations, including bar and restaurant chains, convenience and grocery stores and movie theatres, to post certain nutritional information on menus for all food and beverages, including alcohol. The Making Healthier Choices Act, 2015 (“Act”) was passed on May 26, 2015 and is set to come into force on January 1, 2017.
In particular, these food service establishments will be required to display the number of calories in each size and variety of food and drink item offered, as well as “any other information” required by the regulations. The information must be displayed on menus and, if the food and drink item is displayed, on the label. Regulations have not yet been drafted but they are forthcoming.
The consequences for non-compliance are significant with fines for individuals up to $500 each day the non-compliance continues on a first offence, and up to $1000 per day on repeat offences. Corporations can be fined up to $5000 for each day the non-compliance continues on a first offence, and up to $10,000 per day on repeat offences. If directors and officers of corporations do not take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance, they can be found liable and similarly fined.
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