SFDA Restaurant Calories Regulation for Menus: Becoming Compliant
In an effort to educate the population on the high caloric content in restaurant meals, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority has issued a requirement for all food establishments to cite the calorie information of all food items displayed on their menus.
This mandatory menu-labeling initiative is housed under a greater effort called the Saudi 2030 Vision. This endeavor is to improve the quality of life of the people of Saudi Arabia through nutrition education and encouraging the population’s participation in recreational events by developing new arenas, recreation facilities and venues over the next decade. This portion of the 2030 Vision is referred to as the “Quality of Life” effort and is, in part, a response to the rising obesity rates throughout the KSA.
According to the SFDA , fast food restaurants, patisseries and other food establishments must list the calorie counts on their menu items as a mandatory requirement as of December 31, 2018. By use of a nutrition analysis software program or food laboratory, restaurant owners can determine the caloric values as well as the nutritional value of meals their food establishment offers.
The intention behind this movement is to continuously educate the people of Saudi Arabia about the high number of calories as well as nutrient values (such as trans fats) of food products offered in fast food restaurants and other food facilities, This is being done to bring awareness to the daily calorie intake of an individual for overall improvement of consumers’ health. With 70% of the Saudi Arabia population being overweight or obese, this initiative by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority is of utmost importance and will only be gaining momentum and becoming more detailed in the upcoming decade as the KSA 2030 Vision is accomplished.
This is a multifaceted approach on behalf of the SFDA as well as the the KSA government to monitor the calorie information and nutritional value of meals and inadvertently encourage cafe owners and food facilities to be mindful of the nutrient counts of their food items. In turn, by default, a trickle-effect can occur by more healthful offerings being provided on restaurant menus. As a result, consumers’ health can improve by the reduced calorie intake by means of fast food and restaurant food product offerings.
Need to become SFDA Compliant? Please contact MenuCalc for all of your menu-labeling needs with this new SFDA regulation.