On­tario says Freshii not post­ing calo­rie info

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - ALEK­SAN­DRA SAGAN

TORONTO — Lo­cal public health units in On­tario will in­spect Freshii restau­rants at the re­quest of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment due to con­cerns they are not com­ply­ing with a reg­u­la­tion that re­quires them to dis­play calo­ries on their menus.

The Health Min­istry said Tues­day it ap­pears mul­ti­ple Freshii lo­ca­tions are not abid­ing by the Healthy Menu Choices Act, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by in­spec­tors.

The act, which came into force Jan. 1, re­quires food ser­vice providers with 20 or more lo­ca­tions in On­tario to post calo­rie counts on their menus.

Freshii op­er­ates more than 300 restau­rants glob­ally, of which more than 50 are in On­tario, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

The com­pany did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

David Jensen, a spokesper­son for the min­istry, said in­spec­tors from public health units will visit the restau­rants and con­sider en­force­ment ac­tion against any found to be con­tra­ven­ing the act.

The min­istry has writ­ten a let­ter to Freshii’s cor­po­rate of­fice to ad­vise them of their duty to fol­low the reg­u­la­tion, but has yet to re­ceive a re­sponse, Jensen said.

In­di­vid­ual fines for a first of­fence are a max­i­mum of $500 daily, while cor­po­rate fines for a first of­fence are a max­i­mum of $5,000 per day.

Founded in Toronto in 2005, Freshii pro­motes it­self as an al­ter­na­tive to its greasier fast-food com­peti­tors, sell­ing sal­ads, wraps and smooth­ies to ap­peal to a more health-con­scious cus­tomer. Its motto is “Count nu­tri­ents, not calo­ries.”

Freshii, which be­gan trad­ing on the Toronto Stock Ex­change in Jan­uary, is plan­ning an ex­pan­sion that would see it add be­tween 150 and 160 out­lets around the world this year.

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