In a speech at the Royal Society for Public Health Lansley claimed the voluntary Responsibility Deal, which has seen hospitality businesses sign up to pledge their support through calorie or alcohol information, was helping people to change their health awareness and behaviour.
"Now, people on the high street can be reassured that artificial trans fats are not lurking in their food from many outlets such as Greggs, Costa or McDonald’s," he said.
"And customers will know that when they eat out at popular high street restaurants this year over a third of meals and takeaways will have their calories labelled, helping people to opt for the healthier options. The Responsibility Deal has led to real changes for everyone and we can now see these in our everyday life," Lansley added.
In the speech Lansley also announced local authorities are to be given specific budgets in the next financial year to spend on public health measures with the results being assessed and the best councils rewarded.
Pret A Manger
After the publication of the Responsibility Deal in March over 170 companies and organisations became partners and hospitality businesses such as Harvester and Pret A Manger signed up to promote calorie labelling on their menus.
Caroline Cromar, director of food at Pret A Manger, told BigHospitality the labelling had been welcomed by customers. "Since the labelling came into effect in 2009 across all 250 of our shops in the UK, customers have generally responded positively. We continue to be as transparent as possible to allow our customers to make their own choices around what they eat. Alongside our labelling on our shelves our website shows a detailed breakdown of nutritional information, including calories, salt and fat," Cromar said.
"Pret continues to offer its customers some of the most nutritionally strong food on the high street and we also pride ourselves on the freshness of our natural food," she added.
Other signatories to the calorie labelling part of the deal include JD Wetherspoon, Compass Group and YO! Sushi. Takeaway chain Subway are due to announce their involvement this week.
BigHospitality's timeline of the hospitality industry involvement in the Responsibility Deal:
- March 2011 - The Department of Health published full details of its Responsibility Deal, as well as a list of organisations that pledged their support.
- April 2011 - YO! Sushi and Pizza Hut indicate their support.
- May 2011 - The British Hospitality Association urges more operators to sign up to the voluntary pledge on calorie labelling.
- July 2011 - A New York study claims calorie labelling does not influence diner choice.
- September 2011- Mitchells & Butlers announce a Harvester diners are consuming, on average, 25 less calories and are making some different choices.
- November 2011 - Compass reduces it's salt sachets by 25 per cent.
- January 2012 - Health Secretary Andrew Lansley claims the Responsibility Deal has begun to lead to a change in public health.