We have different specials on every week. Do these have to be analysed before they are added to the menu?

That depends! If a dish is on your menu for less than 30 days in the year, then it is exempt from the proposed legislation on calorie posting.



Can I use a SmartPhone Application to do calculations?

No. This is not considered to be accurate enough as most such Applications are usually based on US food data. According to the Technical Guidance Notes of the Food Safety Authority, analysis needs to be carried out by a technical expert trained to use validated nutritional analysis software based on data for Irish & UK food only.


We sell 3 different sizes of each type of speciality coffee. How can we fit all the calorie information for each size on a menu board or price list?

For items where there are several serving sizes, the calories for the medium or average serving only should be posted.


Can we label menu items as being Gluten-free as long as there is no wheat in the recipe or ingredients?

No. For people with Coeliac Disease, an autoimmune disease that can damage the small intestine, even a small amount of gluten — as little as 10 milligrams in a day — can trigger a reaction. Repeated exposure can have grave consequences, including infertility or even cancer. New EU legislation came info effect in Ireland on 1st January 2012 regarding the labelling of gluten-free foods. Where previously a gluten-free food/beverage/item was allowed to contain small amounts of gluten (up to a max. of 200ppm or 200 mg per Kg), this amount was reduced to 20ppm (or 20 mg/Kg). At present this legislation only applies to packaged food/beverage items. However, at the end of 2014 additional new EU legislation (the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011) will be introduced that will require food businesses to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged, for example in catering outlets, take-aways, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars. There will also be changes to existing legislation on labelling allergenic ingredients in pre-packed foods. Guidance is being developed to help businesses meet these new requirements. In order to comply with this new legislation in 2014, all food outlets, restaurants, delis and bakeries will be required to send all foods that will carry allergen labelling for analysis by an accredited laboratory to determine exact allergen status, particularly in relation to gluten content which must be =/< 20ppm (or 20mgof gluten per Kg of the item).

In the interim, restaurant meals should carry a disclaimer such as “made with gluten-free ingredients, but cannot be guaranteed gluten-free due to possible cross-contamination”.

NutriCount™ has negotiated special rates with a number of laboratories for nutritional analysis and allergen labelling.

Read more:


Where can I find a list of seasonings, marinades, condiments and other cooking ingredients that are Gluten-free?

If you wish to cross check the ingredients that are used in your restaurant to create Gluten-free dishes, you can download the Coeliac Society of Ireland’s most up-to-date Catering list via this link:
The resulting dishes which you intend to label and sell as Gluten-free or suitable for Coeliacs still need to be analysed in an accredited laboratory for exact residual gluten content.


I run a sandwich bar and every customer orders a different sandwich! I presume such restaurants are exempt from the proposed legislation of putting calories on menus?

This is correct to an extent. For situations where it is impossible to calculate an actual portion size (such as sandwiches made to order or eating in a buffet restaurant) the proposal suggests that only the “Top Ten” best selling sandwiches be analysed for calorie posting purposes.


Wouldn’t it be faster to send samples to a laboratory for analysis of calorie content?

Not necessarily. The average turnaround time for nutritional analysis by a laboratory is approximately 2 weeks, but the cost is significantly higher than having it analysed by a company such as NutriCount™ with technical expertise. The turnaround time with NutriCount™ will depend on the extent of your menu.