Menu labelling is aimed at informing consumers about the calorific value and nutritional content of the food. The FSSAI has decided to implement the display of information regarding Nutritional Value on the menu in food services businesses.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to implement the display of information regarding nutrition on the menu in food services businesses. The establishments are given time till June 30, 2022, to ensure compliance with the order. As per the draft, the directions shall come into force from January 1, 2022, yet the enforcement concerning the same shall start from July 1, 2022.
This is the first time in the country that hotels and restaurants are guided to ensure the menu labelling in their businesses. The restaurants and hotels are still recovering from the COVID-19. Hence, additional time is given to Food Service Establishments to ensure the Menu Labelling is practiced in a precise manner. Also, it is directed that no sampling of food items on the menu board, booklets, or boards be verified concerning the declaration of calorific value and nutritional information till June 30, 2022.
Regulatory Provisions Sub-Regulation 2.4.6 of Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) First Amendment Regulations, 2020 dated 21st August 2020 specifies the requirements for ‘Display of information in Food Service Establishments’ with effect from 1st January 2022. FSSAI issued directions dated 28.12.2021 under Section 16(5) of the FSS Act vide which it has been conveyed to all the Food Safety Commissioners and Central Licensing Authorities that samples of the food items listed on the menu cards/boards/booklets by the FBOs shall not be taken up to check/verify the respective declarations of calorific value and nutritional information till 30th June, 2022, in order to grant additional time to the FBOs to adopt the practice of Menu Labelling in a self-compliant manner.
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Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs, says, “Whether you’re consuming food at hotels or restaurants or home, having a fair idea about nutrition is necessary. While we go with dine-in options, we do not have access to the nutritional information of the food item we order. Providing the values in the booklets, handout or website allows the consumer to be aware of the nutrition they consume and make an informed decision.”
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“There are diet-conscious people, who end up completely customizing their diets. Even though the diet is customized, they do not have a complete idea whether the nutrition they’re consuming is enough or not. Also, providing the nutritional value on the booklets and menus does allow the consumers to think before they order. This initiative helps the consumers to make healthy choices,” he added.
The food safety officials are directed to issue improvement notices under the FSS Act for compliance if any FBO does fail to adhere to the norms framed. Under this provision, the FBOs must list the nutritional information and calories of the food items served in food establishments. Certain food services, such as the one serving for immediate consumption in hospitals, hotels, or food services vendors, are exempted from this list.
Further, the regulation defines the food service establishment. The food outlets authorized with Central license or occupying more than ten outlets are needed to ensure nutritional information is specifically mentioned in the booklet, handout, or website.
Menu Labelling shall apply to the following food service establishments:
- Having Central License
- Outlets at ten or more locations.
- E-Commerce FBOs selling food products of those FBOs mandated for declaration under Menu Labelling for such foods.
Examples of Food Service Establishments:
A few examples of Food Service Establishments that fall under the ambit of these Regulations are as follows:
- All Five Star Hotels (Central Licenses);
- One/Two/Three/Four Star Hotels with State License but having outlets at 10 or
- more locations; Restaurants having Central license;
- Restaurants/Clubs/Canteens with State Licenses having outlets at 10 or more
- locations; Flight/Railway Caterers having Central License;
- Departmental Canteens at the premises of Central Govt. Institutions;
- Cloud Kitchens/Dhabas with State Licenses having outlets at 10 or more
- Locations; E-Commerce FBOs selling food products of those FBOs mandated for
- Declaration under Menu Labelling for such foods.
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