Fast food outlets finally put calories on the menus
Three-quarters of fast food outlets are now putting calorie counts on their menus – amounting to 410 restaurants around the country.
Around 50pc of coffee shop chains have put calorie menu labelling in place and this represents 92 individual coffee shops nationally.
And 43pc of catering companies, responsible for 170,000 meals, are also posting their calorie counts.
Health Minister James Reilly who released the figures said smaller and individual eating establishments indicated that they needed some support in introducing the scheme.
A calorie counter software tool is being developed by the Food Safety Authority and is being finalised.
"As 95pc of the public would like to see calories on menus, once this tool is available and the food businesses have had adequate time to use the software tool and put calorie menu labelling in place, the Department of Health will review the operation of the calorie menu labelling scheme."
He said he has no plans to introduce legislation in this area.
"As Minister for Health, I set up a Special Action Group on Obesity, comprising representatives from the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, the Health Service Executive, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and Safefood to examine and progress a number of issues to address the problem of obesity.
" Voluntary calorie-posting in restaurants is just one of various initiatives, amongst others, to assist halting the rising levels of overweight and obesity.
"I previously wrote to a range of businesses – fast food outlets, coffee shop chains and catering companies requesting that they put calories on menus," he added.
Health & Living