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Hoteliers Warn Against FSAI’s MenuCal Scheme

Dr Mary Flynn, FSAI and Noel Marrey, chef, Bracken Court Hotel.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has warned against any attempt down the line to introduce mandatory labelling of calories on menus in hotels and guesthouses.

Following the launch of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s online calorie calculator app MenuCal, Stephen McNally, President of the IHF said that while the tool would benefit certain food service establishments, the calories-on-menus scheme must remain voluntary for hotels and guesthouses.

Mr. McNally expressed concerns about the potential adoption of an indiscriminate ‘one size fits all’ approach to mandatory calorie labelling which he said would be entirely inappropriate for hotels and guesthouses, many of whose menus change on a daily basis reflecting the use of locally sourced produce and seasonally available ingredients.

He said: “Our members are very concerned that the calorie labelling scheme could be transformed into a mandatory system across the board without taking account of the challenges faced by hotels and guesthouses – many of whose menus constantly change from day to day. Such a system would be unworkable for many of our members and would stifle creativity in food businesses that are not part of the underlying health issue.”

Mr. McNally is one of a number of prominent industry executives to criticise the MenuCal initiative, including Cleaver East owner Oliver Dunne.

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