The Food Standards Agency is planning to work with the catering industry to develop ways to include nutritional information on menus after more than 80 per cent of people said they want to see it.
The news means that restaurants, pubs and cafes could soon be made to include details of fat, salt, sugar and calorie content on menus in a bid to encourage healthy eating.
FSA Chief Executive Tim Smith said: "When we buy food from a retail outlet, it’s very clear from the packet what’s in the food and we then have control how much salt and fat we add at home. When we eat out, we are asked to suspend any interest in nutritional content of food as the information isn`t universally available.
“There is no reason why I shouldn’t see the same information, perhaps presented in a different way, when I eat out of home than when I shop for food in a supermarket.”
Smith said although some companies were already making progress, there was more work to be done to encourage others to follow suit.
"We recognise the diversity in the catering sector means that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate and are developing a practical approach that is suitable for a variety of businesses," he added.
The FSA’s survey of 2,000 diners found that 85 per cent of them agreed that restaurants, pubs and cafes should make it clear what is in the food they serve with 81 per cent saying the information should be available at the point of ordering.
When given more specific options, 63 per cent of people said they would like information about what is in their food when they eat out, 41 per cent wanted information and food to be made healthier by catering establishments, while 22 per cent wanted food to remain the same but wanted nutrition information about it.