MONTREAL — A new proposal urges Quebec’s health minister to consider a law requiring fast-food chains to post nutritional information on menus or menu boards.
While many fast-food chains follow B.C.’s Informed Dining program, Marvin Rotrand, Montreal city councillor, says restaurants should make nutritional content more accessible. “We appreciate the efforts of many fast-food chains, which have, for example, on their website, information about the nutritional content of their products. However, this is not enough. Customers do not systematically consult the websites of restaurants and not all have a smartphone to do [so] when ordering their meal.”
Jean Lefebvre, VP for Quebec at the Toronto-based Restaurants Canada, said the Quebec proposal is “out of step” with consumer demand, indicating that major fast-food chains such as A&W, Harvey’s, Pizza Pizza, Quiznos and more have made the decision to implement Informed Dining nationally by the end of 2014. “Canada’s chain restaurants are committed to providing comprehensive nutrition information, because their customers have a variety of nutrition needs,” said Lefebvre. “Putting calories on a menu board does not address consumer demand and is out of sync with a successful program that is already being rolled out.”
There was a similar bill introduced last year by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. That bill proposed The Making Healthier Choices Act, which required large-chain restaurants (20 or more locations in Ontario) to post calorie and other nutritional information directly on their menus. In the second reading, the bill was dropped. Rotrand predicts the bill will be re-introduced in the next few months.