Calorie Labelling ' What Do Businesses Need To Do?

Published date17 August 2021
Subject MatterConsumer Protection, Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Consumer Law, Food and Drugs Law
Law FirmBoyes Turner
AuthorMs Ally Tow

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the impact obesity can have on individuals' health leading to increased risks of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and a number of cancers. The COVID-19 outbreak has been one of the biggest public health challenges ever faced by the UK and was a catalyst for the Government to re-doubling its efforts to reduce obesity levels in the UK by introducing mandatory calorie labelling. Following consultation, the Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021 ("the Regulations") have now been enacted and will come into force in England on 6 April 2022. The Regulations require qualifying businesses which sell food for immediate consumption or as take away food to provide information relating to the energy content of the food sold in kilocalories. In this article, I discuss which businesses are caught by the Regulations and what those businesses will have to do in order to ensure compliance.

What is a qualifying business?

A business will be a qualifying business during a financial year if:

  1. On the first day of that financial year the business has 250 or more employees; and
  2. The business is not an exempt business during that financial year.

What is an exempt business?

An exempt business is one of the following institutions:

  • An educational institution (other than an institution providing education to pupils below the age of 18);
  • A canteen at a work-place, the purpose of which is to provide food to employees in that work-place;
  • A military establishment or criminal justice accommodation;
  • A hospital or other medical institution; or
  • A care home or other institution providing social care,

unless any of the catering services at any of the institutions in question are provided by another business having 250 or more employees. A business that is carried on pursuant to a franchise agreement will be treated as part of the business of the franchisor and not as a separate business carried on by the franchisee.

Which foods will the Regulations apply to?

The Regulations apply to food which is:

  1. Offered for sale in a form which is suitable for immediate consumption,
  2. Is not prepacked food; and
  3. Is not exempt food.

Food will be considered to be in a form which is suitable for immediate consumption if it satisfies the requirements of Condition A or Condition B as follows:

  1. This is food which is offered for sale at a café restaurant or other premises selling food for consumption...

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