Amendments to Regulation 50/16 under the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015
Summary of Decision:
Made: December 12, 2019
Filed: December 23, 2019
Published on e-Laws: December 23, 2019
Printed in The Ontario Gazette: January 11, 2020
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, supported by Cabinet Office - Open for Business, received Cabinet approval to reduce regulatory compliance requirements for business by a minimum of 25% and achieve over $400 million in cost savings by June 2020.
Regulatory amendments to the HMCA are part of the Ministry of Health's two-year burden reduction plan towards reaching this goal. Consumers have shown positive reception to having calories on menus. Thus, the proposed amendments aim to support the efforts of owners or operators of regulated food service premises to comply with the legislation and ensure implementation and enforcement is consistent across the province. The HMCA applies to chains of regulated food service premises that operate 20 or more locations in Ontario. Regulated businesses may experience a reduced regulatory burden due to the new exemptions and additional clarity which have the potential for cost savings at an individual level depending on the premises' specific context.
October 28, 2019
Summary of Proposal:
The Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (HMCA) helps consumers make informed, healthier choices about what they eat and feed their children when dining out or ordering in. The HMCA requires regulated food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario, including chains of grocery stores, to post calories for all standard food items sold or offered for sale.
In the spirit of burden reduction, the proposed amendments aim to support the efforts of owners or operators of regulated food service premises to comply with the HMCA and ensure implementation and enforcement is consistent across the province.
The proposed amendments would:
1. Limit applicability of the HMCA in grocery stores to the "food service" sections of the grocery store where the food or drink items are primarily restaurant-type foods that are clerk-served or available for self-serve.
2. Exempt unprepared fruit and vegetables that are normally sold by weight or unit and that are not part of another standard food item.
3. Exempt food items sold in grocery stores (including convenience stores) that have a Nutrition Facts table (NFt) except for those sold as part of another standard food item or combination meal.
4. Exempt under the HMCA all standard food items that are prepackaged and are currently exempt from posting an NFt under the federal Food and Drug regulations (FDR).
5. Exempt in-store advertisements on the same terms as the current exemption which applies to out-of-store advertisements (exempt in-store posters that do not list a price or a method to place an order).
6. Exempt catering menus from the definition of menus to reduce existing ambiguity regarding whether an item ordered through a catering service "is intended for immediate consumption".
Additional minor changes would clarify outstanding questions including introducing additional flexibility regarding capitalization of the words "Calories", removing the distinction between flavoured and unflavoured bread, and allowing operators to post calories for self-serve items on a label or tag instead of a sign.
393 University Ave, Suite 1802, Toronto, ON, M7A 2S1
January 1, 2020