U.K. companies to put calorie info on menus

by Eric Schroeder
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LONDON — While government officials in cities and states across the United States continue to push for legislation that will require restaurants to place calorie information on menus, restaurants and catering companies in the United Kingdom are taking up the initiative on their own.

According to the Food Standards Agency, 18 companies have agreed to display calorie information on their menus by the end of April. The list of companies includes Burger King, KFC, Marks & Spencer cafes, Pizza Hut, Subway, Tesco staff restaurants, Unilever staff restaurants, and Wimpy.

Under terms of the agreement, the companies will display calorie information for most food and drinks they serve, print calorie information on menu boards, paper menus or on the edge of shelves, and ensure the information is clear and easily visible at the point where people choose their food.

"We are please that such a diverse range of companies has agreed to work with us by introducing calorie labeling at the crucial point where their customers make a decision about what to eat," said Tim Smith, chief executive of the F.S.A. "Our aim is to ensure that consumers have better information so they can make informed choices to improve their diet when eating out, whether that is a snack on the go, a meal in a staff restaurant or at a table being served by a waiter."

The F.S.A. said that 450 food outlets across the United Kingdom will have calorie information in place by June.

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