Mandatory food controls ‘ineffective’

ANY mandatory controls placed on the out of home food sector would be “impractical and ineffective”, trade group UK Hospitality (UKH) has warned.

Responding to Food Standards Scotland’s (FSS) consultation on proposals to improve the out of home food environment – which closed last week (February 28) and suggested new requirements for trade businesses such as providing calorie information on menus – UK Hospitality said voluntary schemes are the best way to promote healthier attitudes to food and drink, as opposed to “inflexible and ineffective legislation”.

Willie Macleod, UK Hospitality executive director for Scotland, said: “The hospitality and out of home food service sectors are so diverse and varied that any mandatory controls are likely to be impractical and ineffective.

“Regulation would have to be reduced to the lowest level in order to be deliverable across so many different businesses.

“Efforts to shape, manage and execute an out of home nutrition programme should be undertaken with the full involvement of the hospitality sector. These businesses are best placed to understand the challenges we face and opportunities for success. A voluntary scheme, with close cooperation with UKH, its members and the wider sector is the best approach to deliver the most effective and efficient out of home strategy.”