Australian fast food menu labelling schemes to be reviewed
The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation is reviewing fast food menu labelling schemes, including the scheme which seen kilojoule counts displayed on menus.
The review aims to examine a number of concerns with the fast food menu scheme including consumers lack of understanding about kilojoules and inconsistencies in menu label legislations between states and territories.
The menu label scheme, which was first introduced in 2011 by the Australian Federal Government, recommends that major fast food providers display the kilojoule count of menu items to help consumers make healthier food choices.
To date, New South Wales, South Australia, the ACT and Queensland have made the display of kilojoule counts mandatory, with Victoria to introduce legislation in May 2018.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory say they will not make the display of kilojoules mandatory as they do not have enough fast food restaurants to warrant it.
In a consultation paper published online by the Food Regulation Standing Committee, a number of issues for consideration were highlighted including that in some states and territories cinemas, convenience stores and dine-in only outlets are exempt from displaying kilojoule counts.
Another highlighted issue was concern that consumers do not know enough about kilojoules and that some use calories instead to understand the energy content of food.
Interested parties can make a submission to the Food Regulation Secretary to express their view on the consultation paper. Consultations close 16 March 2018 and can be sent to FoodRegulationSecretariat@health.gov.au
- NSW puts kilojoules on the menu
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