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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on
August 21, 2020 issued a notification mandating the display of
calorific value of food items on menu cards at various food service
establishments from January 01, 20221.

It would be relevant to mention here that the draft of the
Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment
Regulations, 2018
was published by the FSSAI on October 08,
2018 and objections and suggestions were invited from persons
likely to be affected by the Regulations. In view of the objections
and suggestions to the Regulations received, the FSSAI has amended
the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling)
Regulations, 2011 (Regulation of 2011) by introducing a new rule
i.e. Rule 2.4.6 in the Regulations. The new Rule
states as follows:

“2.4.6 – Display of information in food
service establishments
– (1) Food Service
Establishment having central license or outlets at ten or more
locations shall mention the calorific value (in kcal per serving
and serving size) against the food items displayed on the menu
cards or boards or booklets and the reference information on
calorie requirements shall also be displayed clearly and
prominently as “An average active adult requires
2,000kcal per energy per day, however, calorie needs may
vary.”

Display of information relating to allergens made
mandatory

The FSSAI further mandates the display of information relating
to food allergens on the menu card, if food consists of or is made
of the following:

  • Cereals containing gluten; i.e.,
    wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt or their hybridized strains and
    products of these;

  • Crustacean and their products;

  • Milk and milk products;

  • Eggs and egg products;

  • Fish and fish products;

  • Groundnut tree nuts and their
    products;

  • Soybeans and their products;

  • Sulphite in concentrations of 10mg/kg
    or more:

The Rule also states that for convenience, allergens can be
depicted by symbols.

The Rule additionally provides that the prescribed logo for
vegetarian or non-vegetarian should also be displayed on the menu
card.

Does the Rule apply to all restaurants and hotels?

As per the amendment, the impugned Rule applies to Food Service
Establishments having central license or outlets at ten or more
locations.

Exceptions to the Rule

Additionally, the rule also specifies the exceptions as
under:

“2.4.6. – Display of information in food service
establishments –

(3) The provisions of this regulation shall not be
applicable to the following, namely: –

  1. Event caterers and food
    service premises that operate for less than sixty days
    in
    a calendar year (consecutively or non-consecutively);

  2. Self-service
    condiments
    that are free of charge and not listed in the
    menu card; and

  3. Special-order items or
    modified meals
    and menu items as per request of the
    customer.”

In addition to this, the food establishments such as restaurants
have been instructed to mandatorily mention information concerning
nutrition specific to organic food or ingredients, if applicable,
“provided that deviation of 25% may be tolerated in case
of nutritional information declaration.”

Does the Rule apply to E-commerce food business operators?

The new rule specifically mentions that the E-commerce Food
Business Operators shall get the requisite information (as
mentioned aforesaid) for the food items from the respective Food
Business Operator and provide the requisite information on their
website wherever applicable.

The FSSAI is of the view that by making this practice
mandatory, the customers will make a more informed choice and will
also empower them in making the right choices. This will help one
in keeping a count of calories that one intakes and can balance
their calorie intake accordingly.

The compliance to the new rule by food service
establishments before January 01, 2022, is voluntary.

Footnotes

1
https://fssai.gov.in/upload/notifications/2020/08/5f4611c4eca96Gazette_Notification_Information_Display_Food_26_08_2020.pdf

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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