Beginning January 1st, 2017, the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 and the regulation (O. Reg. 50/16) made under the Act (jointly referred to in this document as HMCA) require food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario to display calories on menus for standard food items.

Requiring the display of calories on menus provides customers with information to help them make informed choices about what they eat and feed their children when dining out.

Specifically, the law will require food service premises to:

  1. Display the number of calories for every standard food item and self-serve item, on menus (including menu boards), labels and display tags; and
  2. Display contextual information to help educate customers about their daily caloric requirements.

About this document

This document (also referred to as the “implementation guide”) is intended to help regulated food service premises owners and operators understand and implement Ontario’s HMCA. It also includes common questions and answers about the implementation of the HMCA.

The implementation guide is intended to reflect the policy intent, as supported by the HMCA. The ministry recognizes that application to each regulated food service premises is subject to the specific realities of each food service premises. Stakeholders are encouraged to speak to their legal counsel and minister-appointed inspectors about questions that they may have regarding how the HMCA apply to their food service premises.

This document provides summary information about the HMCA. The document is provided for educational use only, and is not complete or exact reproductions of the legislation. It is not intended, or to be used, as legal advice about the requirements for menu labelling required by the HMCA. Such advice should be obtained from an independent lawyer. Where there is a discrepancy between anything in this document and a legislative provision, the legislation prevails.

The implementation guide is a living document and may be revised as required to reflect specific implementation information or further clarifications as needed.

Legal requirements

The legal requirements for menu labelling in Ontario are outlined in the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 and its accompanying regulation O. Reg.50/16.