Changes to kilojoule labelling, penalties apply

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th June 2018

REGULATION requiring kilojoule labelling for retail food outlets has changed, and there are penalties for non-compliance.

FoodLegal lawyer John Thisgaard says the change is in Victoria which now joins NSW, Queensland, NSW, ACT, and South Australia in requiring large take-away chains to provide kilojoule labelling on products that are standard across stores.

But the difference to the other states, he says, is that in Victoria the labelling requirement extends beyond just take-away, quick service restaurants to dine-in chains, including bakery and café outlets.

“Although the schemes in each state and territory are similar, restaurants should be wary of subtle differences between jurisdictions,” Mr Thisgaard says.

“For example, unlike some other schemes, the Victorian laws do not exempt restaurants that only offer ‘dine-in’ options.

“There are also slight differences in how kilojoules may be rounded between states.

“This means that when designing national menus, restaurants should take care to observe the requirements of each scheme, and not just use the laws of one state or territory as a template.”

FoodLegal lawyer John Thisgaard

Mr Thisgaard says the Victorian regulations apply to any business with 20 locations in Victoria or 50 locations nationally and at least one in Victoria, and the labelling applies to all standardised menu items that are the same across all stores.

The change came in on May 1, 2018, requiring the display of kilojoule content of ready-to-eat food and drinks on menus and food tags. They also need to show the average adult daily energy intake, which is 8,700kJ.

Penalties apply

Mr Thisgaard says penalties are up to $3,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a corporation.

The requirement applies to all menus (including leaflets/handheld menus) for the following items:

  • ready-to-eat
  • unpackaged
  • standardised for size and content across two or more outlets in the chain, and
  • sold at more than one outlet in the chain.

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