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Papa John’s Settles Menu-Labeling Claim With Attorney General

CONTACT: Elliot Burg, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5507

June 8, 2011

Papa John’s International, Inc., the national restaurant chain, and its Burlington franchise owner have settled a claim by the Vermont Attorney General that they failed to comply with a state law requiring the posting of calorie counts on menus and menu boards. Together they will pay $7,500 to resolve the matter.

Effective January 1, 2011, Vermont law required restaurants that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations nationally to disclose, adjacent to the name of each standard menu item, the number of calories contained in the item. The purpose of the law is to permit consumers to make informed choices about the food they buy in restaurants and the calories associated with that food, for reasons of personal health. A spot check of the Papa John’s restaurant on Pearl Street in Burlington in March of this year found no such disclosures.

Papa John’s, which has over 3,000 locations around the country, is based in Louisville, Kentucky. The owner of the Papa John’s franchise in question is Meron Enterprises, Inc., with offices in Plattsburgh, New York.

Attorney General William H. Sorrell noted the role of calorie-disclosure laws in combating obesity. Last November, announcing the results of his Healthy Weight Initiative, he called on all Vermonters to commit to greater efforts to address “the skyrocketing rates of obesity and overweight, rapidly overcoming tobacco addiction as the greatest avoidable public health problem facing our state and our nation.”

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.