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Government confirms it is looking into forcing pubs to put calorie labels on pints

Naomi Ackerman
·2-min read
<p>Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, has labelled the proposals  “outrageous”</p> (Getty)

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, has labelled the proposals “outrageous”

(Getty)

The UK pubs trade body has criticised potential government plans to force publicans to put calorie labels on pints as "kicking" operators "when they are down".

Restaurants, bars and pubs have been hit hard by the pandemic, seeing 2020 revenues decimated by long lockdowns and brief re-openings with restricted trading.

The Government confirmed to the Standard on Wednesday that as part of the Department for Health and Social Care's Obesity Strategy, it will shortly be launching a consultation on mandatory calorie labelling on alcohol in the UK.

If proposals outlined by health department chiefs get the go ahead, as businesses with 250 or more employees, larger pub and restaurant chains from Wetherspoons to Pizza Express would have to disclose the number of calories in every beer, wine and spirit serving ordered.

The proposals up for consultation also outline how alcohol sold in shops could also be required publish the nutritional information, according to The Sun.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, attacked the proposals as "outrageous".

She said: “Proposals to force calorie labelling on pints sold in pubs are ludicrous – and especially outrageous at this difficult time. After more than a year of being forced to close fully or operate under severe loss-making restrictions, now is not the time to heap burdensome and expensive regulation on our pubs.

“Our pubs are on their knees and the Government already knows this. Calorie labelling would be kicking pubs and brewers when they are down.

“We have very serious concerns on the impact these proposals would have on the sector and on consumers."

A government spokesperson said: “As outlined in our Obesity Strategy, we’ll be launching a consultation soon on mandatory calorie labelling on alcohol - no decisions have yet been taken.”

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