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PETITION: Legally require carb content to be on menus

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by TypeZero., Jun 4, 2021.

  1. TypeZero.

    TypeZero. · Well-Known Member

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    Please can you sign this petition. It’s actually a very important cause for anyone who does carb-counting. The nightmare of guessing the carbs and getting the insulin dose wrong, potentially killing yourself. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/585726

    IMG_3172.jpg
     
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  2. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    If a correct carb count on menus would be required it means no more creative cooking in restaurants, weighing everything before it goes in a dish, weighing everything which goes on each plate separately (which means a cold meal), complex calculations for all components and huge issues when someone makes a mistake in those calculations.

    For large companies with set menus I think it would be possible, and it would be very helpful.
    For almost every local bakery, Indian restaurant or coffee place it would likely mean they'd have to close because they cannot follow this rule. If this happens it means no-one can eat there anymore. How would this help anyone?
     
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  3. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Expert
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    In addition to @Antje77 's comments:-

    Should legislation of this nature come to pass, there will inevitably be menus that are misprinted with erroneous carbohydrate values which is potentially more dangerous than not knowing because the diner may be lured into a false sense of security.

    However noble the intention, I do not feel it will work well in practice and for that reason, I'm out.
     
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  4. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I have no intention to add an extra burden on an industry who are suffering from the affects of lockdown during the pandemic.
    I completely agree with @Antje77 about this taking away creativity. It removes the opportunity for replacements for those with dietary limitations. It doesn't allow small independent establishments from using in season, local vegetables when they are available.

    I have been carb counting for more than 15 years, I eat out a lot and prefer to carb count myself and manage my condition than providing an imposition on others. Do you expect friends and family to carb count when they cook for you?
     
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  5. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree it might be useful in the way that any nutritional info is useful but I think that would give people the impression that as long as you know the precise amount of carbs in a meal, it must surely follow that you then know the exact amount of insulin to inject. We ALL know that is not the case, the carb counting/insulin balance is a guesstimate at best, not an exact science. I strongly believe it's another one of these situations where WE need to take full responsibility for ourselves in what we choose to eat (especially in a restaurant or at a buffet or at a friend's barbeque, etc), and that we can then calculate the carbs based on what's dished up in front of us (another guesstimate but at least we can also use our previous experiences of that food or portion size), yes it would be nice to have written confirmation of an exact carb count but nigh on impossible given the difference in portion sizes, quality of ingredients, what's added that we don't know about and so on. As for a pre prepared shop bought meal, well yes, I agree but I think most do that anyway. The knock on effect would also be tricky, what if a restaurant gets the carb count wrong and gets sued by an insulin user who has unfortunately taken too much insulin, or if the carb count was spot on but the insulin user miscalculated or calculated exactly for once but went hypo or hyper anyway and then blamed the Chef??? Before long we'd be seeing 'No diabetics allowed in' notices! :)
     
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  6. StewM

    StewM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Large companies with set menus usually provide this already on their website, at least.
     
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  7. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I can appreciate where you are coming from but I won’t be signing, coming from a family and many friends who have hospitality establishments they have been through hell (a few have lost their businesses that have been going for many a year) and although they are all packed out now this will be short lived and they have spent thousands making themselves Covid safe and are hanging on by their finger nails, more legislation is the last thing they need
     
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  8. zand

    zand Type 2 · Master

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    It would be more sensible to have carbs specified on the menu than calories, trouble is the world is obsessed with calories and that's where the government focus is
     
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  9. TashT1

    TashT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Having managed several food businesses/ pubs in the past I can tell you this is an impossible ask for small to medium business. The burden of responsibility is really unfair.

    However there is a compromise to be made since large chains are going to be required to provide nutritional information for their menus and I don’t disagree that carbs could be added to this.

    A further compromise could be that if your really worried about eating out, you contact them during booking to pre-order and ask for a list of ingredients & quantities in your chosen meal. We always had the cost of a meal worked out to the gram & could have easily provided this info if asked in advanced.
     
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  10. TypeZero.

    TypeZero. · Well-Known Member

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    Very few restaurants and food outlets change their menu/products every day which means for the most part they have a fairly consistent menu of which they can carb-count.

    No two box of fries are the same so it’s normal for there to be a small deviation. Even McDonalds doesn’t weigh their food to the gram to make sure they give you the correct amount so the calories and carbs won’t be exactly the same as what they display but for us type 1s, a small deviation e.g. 55g instead of 63g is not going to kill us.

    In essence instead of having to keep referring to the carb-count app or Google, we can have the carbs on menu.

    Independent food outlets can get their carb contents from a generalised external source e.g. a reputable health organisation
     
  11. TypeZero.

    TypeZero. · Well-Known Member

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    Well it’s called food legislation. They’ve been getting stricter over the years. Now requiring places to declare contamination with allergens.

    Now they’re trying to put calories on menus to tackle obesity. Why can’t they put carbs?
     
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  12. TashT1

    TashT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’m sorry but I don’t think you realise just what goes into running a food business, especially when you are using fresh produce or made to order meals.

    You might be able to use that logic with your big chains such as Greggs, Wetherspoons, Pret but your local pub that designs their own menu & prepares food everyday would really struggle.

    As soon as you place carb counting as a legal requirement, the burden is placed on the food business to be accurate. If mistakes were made (even innocently) this would place a higher penalty on the business which we the individual do not face.
     
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  13. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
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    I also agree with others here - it's actually my responsibility to get this information right and my responsibility to take the call on what insulin i'll need to manage it, we are asking way too much of this industry in making this a legal requirement. Also if this were in place do you think it would be policed carefully ? Making the wrong insulin calculation based on what we are told means we could blame the restaurant and do you think they would think highly of diabetics if we started pointing fingers, this won't be getting my signature.
     
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  14. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I think you'd understand our points if you were to do a couple of shifts in the kitchen of a small and busy restaurant and tried to count the carbs on every plate leaving the kitchen.
     
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  15. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    I can see how places like Wetherspoons, Nandos, MacDonalds, Burger King, and other big chains could comply with this. The sort of place where things come out of the freezer, into the fryer, and are counted onto the plate in standard portions.

    But most places aren’t like that.
    Small family run cafes, independent pub kitchens and the nicer restaurants would be unable to comply (not all scones come off a production line, and good restaurants change their menus daily or weekly to suit the seasonal veg supply, and two chefs can make the same sauce or home made ice cream very differently.

    No, I won’t be signing.
    The hospitality industry has enough to cope with at the moment, this would IMO be an extra unnecessary burden.

    Although I do admit that where places include the carb content (Costas and Wetherspoons’ carbs are both online) I am curious enough to read the info, often with a horrified fascination (Costas!!!) but my goal is to choose foods with as close to zero carbs as possible, and I can do that by simply picking meat, fish, eggs, green stuff and herb teas.
     
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  16. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    We clearly eat at different types of establishments.
    The places I go to get fresh ingredients each week according to what is available locally and in season.
    And then they may run out of one ingredient during the week and need to substitute it because, for example, it the end of the asparagus growing season so they are using green beans which are just ripening, instead. Would you want them to have to prepare the carb contents for that meal?
    Or someone with a wheat intolerance comes in and asks if they could replace the sourdough bread with a jacket potato. Would the cafe refuse or would they have to carb count for that specific customer?

    I want to visit places that are creative and flexible. And I want to go back again to try something different that I can't get anywhere else rather than at another branch of the same mega chain.
     
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  17. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Expert
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    Allergens only require a simple statement like "may contain nuts" and responsibility then passes to the consumer to take appropriate action. This is very easy for the retailer to implement.

    But if I were to visit a restaurant and bolus for a meal based on the menu stating it contained 50g of carbs but it turns out to be only 30g due to unchecked data or a misprint then who takes responsibility for the subsequent trip to hospital? I don't think people take potentially life threatening medication for 'calories' but I'm sure you will correct me if I am wrong.

    The proposed legislation for calories only applies to organisations with more than 250 employees and the information is already available on the websites of most larger hospitality companies. The carbohydrate petition (as it stands) makes no such allowance for the size of the business.
     
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  18. TashT1

    TashT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This isn’t strictly true. As a food business you are now required to hold a list of all 14 recognised allergens that are present in your menu. It’s flexible in that it doesn’t need to be printed on the menu & if you add: change a new item you update your list. If someone asks about allergens you need to be able to confidently answer their questions & serving an allergen when you have been asked not to is a serious breach.

    But again, it’s different to carbs. You don’t have to say how much of the allergens is in the meal, just that it’s there & the onus is on the allergen sufferer to avoid it. You could include carbs as an allergen but then you’d just be warned that the meal contains carbs, not how many.
     
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  19. sleepster

    sleepster Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree that it's just not practical for a lot of places. I've worked in a few restaurants/cafes where the food on the menu varied by what was in season/what we had/what needed using up/how much time was available to cook or bake. Sometimes I liked cooking something new to see how it would sell, with a requirement to provide carb values that just wouldn't be possible for places to try out new ideas.
    As a carb-counter I appreciate it's sometimes really blinking hard getting the carbs right but at the same time I personally wouldn't want to rely solely on a value given by the establishment.
    It's a no from me.
     
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  20. searley

    searley Type 1 · Moderator
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    i wouldn't sign...

    it is quite easy with experience to look at a plate and get a 'good estimate' of carbs... i think if you make it too easy then you learn nothing.. i can do maths without a calculator... lots of school leavers now cants as they are allowed to use a calculator.. so make it to easy and no one will learn to do it for themselves and it will be more difficult when you do food for yourself..

    when at home not everything has carbs listed you have to work out for yourself, unless you only eat prepackaged foods..

    some things you wouldn't get 100 percent accurate anyway.. example a really ripe apple may have higher carbs to a less ripe one..

    often a proper chef will adjust and change a dish as they go depending on what it tastes like.. they would be able todo this if having to expressly weigh everything and not change
     
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