NEW Calorie Labelling for food businesses

fast food business

The Calorie Labelling Regulations 2021

have been introduced in this country to make sure large food businesses display the calorie content of the food they are producing and serving. The law will be enforced in April 2022 so all food businesses who are eligible must comply.

As part a 10 year strategy Turning the Tide driven by the Obesity Health Alliance; it has been identified that government policies and regulations can help customers to make informed choices when they are eating out hence the introduction of the new regulations.

Governments can play a key role in creating the conditions that incentivise food manufacturers to improve the health of their products using a combination of reformulation, portion size and labelling.

The new regulations apply to the following food businesses:

  1. Any food businesses in the ‘out of home sector’ which means those that sell food to be eaten straight away on or off the premises including restaurants and  takeaways (for full list see  guidance for calorie labelling in the out of home sector ), AND
  2. Any food business with more than 250 employees (larger businesses), INCLUDING
  3. Franchises – businesses with franchise agreements are considered to be part of the franchisor and their total number of employees if more than 250 will mean they will have to comply with these new regulations. 
  4. Distance selling [online] – businesses who qualify and are selling food online and via 3rd party delivery apps [deliveroo, just eat] also qualify

Feeling confused? Here's what you need to do to make sure your food business is legal

  1. Display calories in kcal on the menu next to the description or price, AND/OR if on display on a label near the food so it is obvious to the customer when they are choosing their food
  2. You must also display a statement ‘Adults need around 2000 kcals a day’ (statement of needs) on every page of a menu or where the food and it’s calorie information is displayed
  3. All information must be clear, legible and not obscured in any way
  4.  For customised  food options e.g. build your own sandwiches ordered in a deli or coffees, calories must be given for the base product e.g. bread/milk and a standard portion of the other ingredients or options 
  5. Calorie content must apply to a single portion e.g. slice of cake, ham and cheese sandwich etc.[ and indicate if the food is intended  for more than one person]
  6. There are some exemptions: fresh fruit and vegetables, loaves of bread [bread/rolls need calorie labelling) single ingredient foods e.g. sliced deli ham but if included in a sandwich the calorie information must be displayed.
  7. Other exemptions are food produced in house for charities, education (pupils under 18), hospital patients and carehomes, food temporarily on the menu (for less than 30 days) such as on specials boards. 

Calculating calorie content of food

  1. McCance & Widdowson Dataset enables you to work out the nutrient values of your food. Information is given for  energy ( kcal ) values per 100g.
  2. MenuCal is a free online tool developed by the Food Standards Agency to help you work out the calories in the food you produce and serve. There is also free online training on how to use this tool,
  3. Other online tools such as Nutricalc or Kafoodle

What could happen to you and your food business if you don't comply?

The regulations will be enforced from April 2022 and local authorities will take a graduated approach to compliance including advice, letters, improvement notices, Fixed Monetary Penalty of £2500 or prosecution and fines.

Need more advice or help?

Book in for a 1:1 chat with me via my  Calendly link  (chargeable by the hour)


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