Enforcement of new menu ordinance begins Monday

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by Brooke Katz

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 15 at 2:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Public Health and Wellness food inspectors will start enforcing a new Louisville ordinance Monday requiring some restaurants to make caloric and other nutrition information available on-site.
 
According to the new law, any eateries that post caloric and other nutritional information online will now have to make the same information available to customers at the restaurant. Restaurants must post this information either on their menus, menu boards or through some other means readily available to the public.

The law is intended to help people make better choices and lead healthier lifestyles.

City Café is one of the restaurants already complying. Co-owner Bernie Buren said he’s actually seen changes in what people order ever since posting caloric information on their menus.

“I think it will be beneficial for the consumer in all ways. I don’t see them losing,” Buren said. “They can make informed choices for them and for their kids.”

“You may not choose to go for the better items, but at least the information is there and you have it,”  Connie Mendel, Environmental Health Administrator, said.

The new ordinance doesn’t affect every restaurant. Those owners who choose not to post nutrition information online do not have to have it in the restaurant. Some owners said it would simply be too much trouble to try to keep up with their changing menus.

“If we tweak a recipe on a daily basis, it would be tough for us to do it,” the manager at Ri Ra Irish Pub said.

The ordinance will exempt restaurants already in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, which requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to have caloric information for menu items, food on display, and self-service food.
 
Inspectors will be researching restaurants online to see if they post nutrition information, and then they will go to the restaurant to make sure the owners are complying. Violators will have 14 days to come into compliance and to be subject to a fine of $25 per day thereafter.

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