After several rounds of consultation, the highly anticipated regulations under the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (the “Act”) were posted online on March 4th, 2016. Chain restaurants will now have less than a year to post caloric information and bring menus, flyers, advertisements, websites, and premises into compliance.
The final regulations provide crucial details on exemptions, the format and location of caloric declarations, what is captured by the definition of “menu”, how calorie information for self-serve and customizable options should be displayed, alcohol caloric declarations, daily caloric intake contextual statements, and acceptable methods of determining the number of calories. Of particular note, the final regulations exempt foods and beverages that carry a Canadian compliant nutrition facts table from certain calorie display requirements under Act.
The new provisions will come into force on January 1, 2017. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will be developing tools and additional guidance to help restaurateurs comply with the Act. As always, the devil is in the details and hopefully the Ministry will be able to address the probable logistical challenges of displaying this caloric information in a meaningful and legible manner.