The Food Safety Authority of Ireland today revealed its online calorie counter, designed for use by chefs and restaurants.
MenuCal, the calorie counting application, will be made available to 22,000 food service businesses free of charge.
Having the calorie count on menus is now being encouraged throughout the country. This morning Minister for Health James Reilly launched MenuCal and told RTÉ News that it was "very necessary because a lot of smaller outlets and cafes and restaurants in this country felt that they didn't have the resources to put the calories on their menus and that's why they were somewhat resistant to it."
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Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, FSAI Chief Specialist in Public Health Nutrition Mary Flynn said MenuCal will allow users to standardise their portions.
Ms Flynn said: "The user goes to menucal.ie, they put in their user name, email address, they register and get password – and then that's their account.
“They can put in their own secret recipes, they can calculate the calories in those dishes and work it out per portion."
Stephen McNally of the Irish Hotels Federation commented on the new system, saying that "it's not a one fit all."
"I think it's very good for places that have fixed menus over long periods. For hotels it can be a bit more difficult because you have lots of different menus every night of the week; whether it be weddings, celebrations, dinners, bars and everything else. So that's something we will have to manage."