Online food delivery companies, cafes and restaurants could be forced by law to display calorie labels on food they sell to customers.
The new plans are intended to tackle diabetes by making sure that families know how much they and their children are eating when they are on-the-go.
But they were criticised as “yet another example of the Government using sledgehammer to fail to crack a nut” by a right wing think tank.
Calorie labels are already widely available on packaged foods in supermarkets and in some big chains including Wetherspoons and Subway.
Officials said the “introduction of calorie labels to give families an informed choice over what they eat in restaurants, cafes and takeaways”.
The consultation will “look at applying the measure to online businesses that sell food or drink for takeaway or home delivery”.
However officials will examine whether “small businesses, street vendors and restaurants with fast changing menus” could be exempt.
It comes after days after The Daily Telegraph disclosed The Treasury warned that the plans were likely to be “burdensome” for small restaurants and force them to raise food prices and cut jobs.
Ministers said the new plans “will level the playing field to ensure a consistent offer for families” and help parents to tackle Type 2 Diabetes among children.
Steve Brine, the Public health Minister, said: “Families want to know what they are eating when on the go, but in many cafés, restaurants and takeaways this information is not available.
“This is not about forcing anyone to eat certain things, or companies to behave in a certain way, but I firmly believe we have a right to know the nutritional content of the food we give to our children.”
But Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “This is yet another example of the Government using a sledgehammer to fail to crack a nut.
“There does not seem to be a huge demand among consumers to ask about calorie count before ordering a meal or a bite to eat.
“Increasingly, those who are interested can find the information within seconds on an internet search.
“It’s disappointing that the Government seems increasingly obsessed with further adding to the red tape that afflicts British business.”
Credit: Source link