The Government of Ontario has released proposed amendments to
clarify the calorie disclosure requirements pursuant to the
Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015. The requirements will come
into force on January 1, 2017 and provide that owners of food
service premises that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations
in Ontario must display prescribed calorie information for every
standard food and beverage item that is listed on a menu (whether
printed or electronic) or in an advertisement, subject to certain
The amendments, which are available
here, are intended to clarify the application of these calorie
disclosure requirements. The following proposed amendments are
particularly noteworthy in terms of their advertising and marketing
Billboards, radio and television
advertisements would be exempted.
The definition of "menu"
would require that it must be a written means of
The requirements would only apply
online/app menus and advertisements that: (a) are distributed
outside of the food service premises; (b) list a price for the food
item that can be ordered for takeaway or delivery; and (c) provide
a method to place an order.
The following food items would be
exempt, if sold in grocery stores:
Deli meats and cheeses normally sold
by weight and that are not part of another standard food item (e.g.
Flavoured bread, buns and rolls that
are not part of another standard food item;
Prepared fruits and vegetables for a
group of people (e.g. salads and fruit/vegetable trays); and
Olives and antipasti that are not
part of another standard food item
All food items in vending machines
would be exempt.
The proposed amendments are subject to change. We will be paying
close attention to any further developments to these important new
requirements affecting the food and beverage industry. For
additional background information, please see Gowling WLG's
earlier articles on
menu calorie labelling,
restaurant calorie disclosure and the
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