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Food: Labelling

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with food manufacturers on calorie labelling per portion on pre-packaged foods.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with food manufacturers on increasing the uptake of front-of-pack traffic light labelling on pre-packaged foods.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the food industry to adopt the front-of-pack traffic light food labelling system.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage food retailers to adopt calorie labelling on menus or at the point of purchase.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve food labelling for people with diabetes.

Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that carbohydrates are (a) clearly and (b) consistently displayed on pre-packaged food.

Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with retailers on providing information on the carbohydrate content of food sold in restaurants, cafes and takeaways.

Photo of Paul Girvan Paul Girvan Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing mandatory recommended dietary allowance guidelines on (a) fast food packaging and (b) in fast food outlets.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

My Rt. hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has not had any recent discussions with the food and drinks industry on calorie labelling, including carbohydrate content, on pre-packaged foods or food sold in restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets and takeaways.

The mandatory nutrient declaration for pre-packaged food must include values for carbohydrate and calories. We welcome the actions taken by responsible producers and retailers who have adopted the front of pack and out of home nutrition labelling schemes. Businesses that have adopted the front of pack nutrition labelling scheme account for approximately two thirds of the market for pre-packed foods and drinks, and around a quarter of the food consumed outside the home currently has calories labelled at the point of choice, for example on menus and menu boards. But the challenge to industry to make further progress remains.

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will give us greater flexibility to determine what information should be presented on packaged food, and how it should be displayed. We want to build on the success of our current labelling scheme, and review additional opportunities to go further and ensure we are using the most effective ways to communicate information. This might include clearer visual labelling, such as teaspoons of sugar, that help consumers understand more about the sugar content in packaged food and drink.

There has been no central assessment of the merits of introducing mandatory recommended dietary allowance guidelines on fast food packaging or in fast food outlets.

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