Today’s Food Newsbits: North Korea Gets First Fast Food; Yum Brands Calls For Stronger Menu Labeling


The London Telegraph reported this weekend that North Korea recently opened its first fast food establishment, following the opening of its first Italian restaurant in March. The Samtaeseong diner, which opened in Pyongyang in June, offers ‘minced beef with bread’ instead of hamburger, conforming to the country’s long standing ban on Western influences. Other menu offerings include waffles and draft beer, with a plan to add hot dogs and croissants in the near future, so long as they’re listed under Korean names.

Senior Vice President of Yum Brands Jonathan Blum is calling for stronger menu labeling regulations in the upcoming America’s Affordable Health Choices Act. Section 325 of the bill, which is currently in discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives, contends that restaurants with 20 units or more must add calorie information to their menus. Blum, and 21 other restaurant corporations, argue that too many restaurants fall shy of the 20 unit mark, limiting the new label regulations to only 25% of the 945,000 restaurants in the United States. Yum Brands, parent company of five major restaurant chains, including Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and A&W All American Food, previously volunteered to include caloric information on all of their menus by 2011.

You can read the interview with Mr. Blum, and his thoughts on the bill, here.

~Jennifer Heigl