As the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) decides to implement the display of information regarding nutrition on the menu in food services businesses, the establishments have time till June 30, 2022, to ensure compliance with the order.
Experts say that this was the first time in the country, the hotels and restaurants were asked to ensure menu labelling.
The food safety officials were directed to issue improvement notices under the FSS Act for compliance, if any FBO fails to adhere to the norms framed. Under this provision, the FBOs are required to list the nutritional information and calories of the food items served in food establishments. Certain food services such as the one serving for immediate consumption in hospitals, hotels, or food services vendors are exempted from this list.
Ashwin Bhadri, CEO, Equinox Labs, says, “Whether you’re consuming food at hotels or restaurants or home, having a fair idea about nutrition is necessary. While we go with dine-in options, we do not have access to the nutritional information of the food item we order. Providing the values in the booklets, or handout or website does allow the consumer to be aware of the nutrition they consume and make an informed decision.”
“Besides, there are diet-conscious people, who end up completely customising their diets. Even though the diet is customised, they do not have a complete idea whether the nutrition they’re consuming is enough or not. Also, providing the nutritional value on the booklets and menus does allow the consumers to think before they order.
This initiative helps the consumers to make healthy choices. Also, companies like ours have launched programmes like Nutripedia, a service that can convert recipes into nutritional labels faster than traditional testing, ” he added.
The food outlets authorised with a Central licence or occupying more than 10 outlets were required to ensure the nutritional information, specifically mentioned in the booklet or handout or the website.