The Palaszczuk Government has today delivered on an election commitment by passing new laws to ensure Queenslanders know exactly how many kilojoules are in fast foods.
The Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, passed by the Queensland Parliament today, makes it mandatory for food businesses to display the kilojoule content of their food and drinks at point-of-sale.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the new laws ensured display of kilojoule information was implemented consistently statewide, spelling a win for the health of all Queenslanders.
“The reality is many of us rely on ready-to-eat meals and snacks from fast food outlets, cafes and grocery stores, to the point where one-third of all Queensland adults are eating takeaway food at least once a week,” he said.
“It is essential for your health to understand exactly what you are eating, but most of us don’t realise how much saturated fat, sugar and salt are in these types of foods.
“These new laws will provide Queenslanders with the nutrition information they need to make informed, healthier food choices.”
The new laws apply to fast-food chains, bakery chains, café chains and supermarkets with at least 20 outlets in Queensland or 50 outlets nationwide.
The amendments mean kilojoule counts must be displayed on in-store menus and labels, drive-through menus, online ordering sites, mobile applications and printed menus distributed to households.
“This scheme will provide consumers with easy-to-understand nutrition information at the point-of-sale, whether that’s in a queue or ordering over the phone, internet or a mobile app,” Mr Dick said.
“These changes fulfil another of our government’s election commitments and, importantly, will play a strong role in our fight against obesity in Queensland.”
About 2.5 million adults and children in Queensland are overweight or obese, with obesity in the past estimated as costing the state’s economy more than $11 billion a year.
Mr Dick said food businesses would have 12 months to comply with the scheme.