Ontario says Freshii not posting calorie info
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.