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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Most restaurants in Louisville are now required to post nutrition information on their menus and health inspectors began enforcing the new rules on Monday.
The Metro Council designed the new ordinance so that it affects only restaurants that already have websites containing nutritional information. Now that same information must be available inside the restaurant.
"We're going to do this as part of our regular inspection," said Environmental Health Administration Connie Mendel.
The legislation piggybacks federal guidelines that were part of the Affordable Health Care Act that requires restaurants with more than 20 locations to display caloric information. This information must appear on lighted menu boards behind the counter, on the menu itself or in a separate printed pamphlet available upon request.
Health department officials will be checking for this information as part of their daily routines.
"The premise is good," Mendel said. "People make better decisions -- typically people do make a better choice given all of the information. Studies have shown when calorie information that people will typically make a healthy choice."
At Smashburger on Fourth Street, District Manager Mat Towsend explains nutritional information is available with a printout by request: "We have all of our nationwide items, they're located on two pages, everything."
He continues, "We don't have it on our menu boards, but we do provide you a hard copy so you can take it with you and work out within our menu if you want to."
That meets the criteria for the nutrition requirements.
At the City Cafe on Broadway, calories have been on the board for a few months.
But do diners even notice the difference with calories on the menu, and does it matter? "It defeats the purpose of eating a salad if you're going to load it up with a lot of dressing," says Janie Farmer. And Lisa Hardley says, "You might adjust what you're eating throughout the day. If you want that sandwich and you like it, then you might have a different breakfast or have less for dinner."
Restaurants that are not in compliance when inspectors check will have 14 days to become complaint and could be fined $25 per day.