RAI Slams 'Unworkable' Calorie Counts

The RAI has opposed Government plans to introduce calorie counts on restaurant menus.
 The proposals, which were approved this week at the Government’s Cabinet meeting, will require food outlets to post calorie information alongside the price for all items offered on menus, at the point where the food is ordered.
Adrian Cummins,cero of RAI said that the proposals would be 'virtually impossible to monitor' and would cost every restaurant €5,000 a year.
 'To really implement this, each EHO will have to come in, take a sample of the food, send it to a lab to be tested, and wait for the results to come back to see if the correct calorie count was displayed', he said
He said  that without an ability to actively monitor the implementation of calorie counts, some food outlets could simply post lower counts than competitors.
The RAI pointed out that calorie counts on menus have already been introduced in the US, with “disastrous results”. It pointed to a New York University study which said five out of six customers paid no attention to the information.
The Irish Hotels Federation has also opposed mandatory labelling as unworkable for hotels and guest houses given daily menu changes.
Chef Derry Clarke agreed and said he was 100pc against the move which was "past ridiculous".
Health Minister Leo Varadkar said he was introducing the initiative as the latest figures show two in every three adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.
"Giving calorie details on menus is a very simple but effective way of encouraging people to choose a healthier option," he said.



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