While U.S. restaurants scramble to update menu boards to include nutritional information in compliance of changing healthcare stipulations, Canada is going a step further: In addition to posting the basics, such as calorie, sodium and fat content, Canada’s labels also will include food allergens and gluten sources.
According to Perishable News, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of Health, and Royal Galipeau, member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orleans, announced the new regulations this week as part of the Consumer Product Safety Act. The objective is to offer Canadians with food allergies, sensitivities and celiac disease the ability to make more informed choices about their food.
Aglukkaq said the act provides protection from harmful, or fatal, ingredients for children and families with food allergies. Approximately 5 percent to 6 percent of children and 3 percent to 4 percent of adults suffer from food allergies.
Canada’s new labels will include information about "hidden" allergens, gluten and sulphites. The foodservice industry has been given an 18-month deadline to comply, with an end date of Aug. 4, 2012.