Eat well and be wise. The message that appears to be being sent to travellers by the airport is evident from the fact that the majority of food establishments at Kolkata Airport include calorie counts for the items on their menus. Some businesses go above and beyond to disclose ingredients that some customers may be allergic to, such as soy, milk, gluten, eggs, almonds, and gluten.
India’s food regulatory body, The Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI), has published labelling and display regulations that require restaurants with a central license or outlets at ten or more locations to list the calorific value (in kcal per serving and serving size) of items on their menu cards, boards, or booklets.
At all major international airports in the United States and Europe, the calorie content of all food and beverages is displayed. Particularly because the airport is rapidly approaching pre-Covid traffic, the current upgrade at Kolkata Airport adheres to the FSSAI guideline.
An official of the master franchise dealing with F&B outlets at the airport stated, “Since an airport is an international facility, we have adopted the global trend of ensuring that customers get to make an informed choice. As people become more conscious about their health and calorie intake, we have urged food & beverage units to provide the information alongside the menu or the marker on the display counter,”
Even though some establishments did publish information on packed foods like sandwiches before the epidemic, sources claim that the majority of establishments have listed the calories in all products on the menu that have become available since the Covid outbreak.
A salesperson at a kiosk selling juices and salads stated, “After the pandemic, people have become more health conscious. This move complements their efforts to eat and live healthy.”
Both the kiosk next to the biryani shop that sells sandwiches, samosas and other savoury foods list the total number of calories in kilograms in each meal. The exceptions are the delightful businesses that have not joined the group. Flyers were supportive of the move.
Saswati Bhattacharya, A Freelance Model and Entrepreneur, said, “I like to maintain a healthy diet and keep a check on the food I eat. But during long waits at airports, especially during winter when flights get delayed due to fog, like everyone else, I, too, end up munching a lot of stuff. But from now on, I can keep tabs on the calorie count of the food I eat and know what to eat and what to skip.”
The airport’s initiative was also praised by health and nutrition experts.