Food service establishments to mention calorific value in menu card: Labelling & Display norms

Food service establishments with central license or outlets at 10 or more locations will have to mention the calorific value (in kcal per serving and serving size) against the food items displayed on the menu cards or boards or booklets, according to the government of India's newly notified labelling and display regulations.

"Additionally, reference information on calorie requirements shall also be displayed clearly and prominently as “An average active adult requires 2,000 kcal energy per day, however, calorie needs may vary”," the notification said.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was in the process of overhauling the labelling regulations for packaged food products, which have now been notified.

The notification further states that, "E-commerce Food Business Operators shall get the above mentioned information from respective Food Business Operators and provide on their website wherever applicable."

The regulation has, however, done with the proposed colour-coded labelling which was intended to enable consumers to identify products that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products, according to the newly notified labelling and display regulations. The proposal had raised concerns that if implemented, it would require majority of products to display red-colour coding on their labels.

Through these regulations the food regulator has for the first time defined children for the packaged food industry.

"Children or child” means a person under the age of 18 years as defined in Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Explanation- The applicability of the age limit for specific category of food may be indicated in the relevant regulation, under the broad category of children," the newly notified Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2020 said.