Eating out? You may be able to see nutritive value of cooked food in menu soon

Next time you go to a food chain joint to eat, you may be able to calculate the calories taken in the food consumed. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under its ‘Eat Right Initiative’ has decided to implement regulations under which a food chain joint will be asked to inform the nutritive value of the food it serves.

The top food regulator is bringing an amendment to labeling regulation in FSSAI Act under which restaurants owners have to declare “serving size the food” and the nutritive value including vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and total calories.

Initially, these regulations are being proposed for Food Business Operators (FBO) having more than 10 food chain establishments or those FBOs who have a central licence issued by the apex food regulating agency.

“It would be mandatory for big restaurant owners to mention the presence of calorie value (kcal per serving and serving size) in the food items. They have to display it on the menu card or a booklet on the table. FBOs will also be required to display information on calorie requirements. An average active adult requires 2000 Kcal per day,” a senior FSSAI official told ANI.

The restaurant owners will also have to tell information about the presence of eight allergens present in the food items – gluten, crustaceans, milk and milk products, eggs, fish and fish products, ground nuts or tree nuts, soybeans and sulfites. The display of nutritive information will be voluntary until FSSAI comes up with a notification.

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“It is for the first time such amendment is being by implemented by FSSAI in respect to cooked food. Our idea is to provide safe and healthy food to people. There is growing consciousness about eating healthy food. These regulations are being done under ‘Eat Right Initiative’. For the time being, it will be voluntary for all FBOs. While declaring nutritional information, we are giving them 25 per cent tolerance limit,” another senior official from FSSAI said in the know of this development.

These regulations have been developed by a scientific panel of the food regulator and are likely to be notified soon and would then become mandatory for all food chain giants.
As of now, only packed food or ready-to-eat food items have nutritional information on the wrapper of the food item.

Some European countries already have the practice in which shops declare the nutritive value of the cooked food being sold by them.

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