McDonald's to grade its burgers in France with health A-E Nutri-Score

Fast-food giant will use French Nutri-Score system for its products online and on its app and later in order terminals in restaurants

Fast-food giant McDonald's is to display the nutritional quality of its products at its restaurants across France, bringing it into line with tens of thousands of other food producers.

Read more: All food adverts must show health score, France votes

McDonald's customers will be able to decide between their Big Mac or chicken wrap based on its nutritional value using the Nutri-Score system, after the burger giant said it would include this information on its website and mobile phone application - ahead of steps to include it on order terminals in restaurants.

The move comes three years after the Nutri-Score tool was launched by Santé publique France, and it is now commonly used by numerous brands.

Read more: Why don't all foods in France have nutrition scores?

It offers at-a-glance information on how healthy and nutritious a food is using colour and alphabet-graded coding for food, with green and A for foods judged to be the healthiest and red and E for the least healthy.

It works by assessing how much of the food’s weight is made up of elements that people are encouraged to eat more of, such as fibre, protein, fruit and vegetables, and those that should be eaten in moderation, such as saturated fats, salt, sugar and anything very energy-dense (therefore high calories).

The system has since been taken up in Belgium, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands and has been praised by the European Commission and the World Health Organisation.

Read more: Petition on European food labels seeks 1m signatures

"This is a new step in McDonald's commitment to nutritional transparency, initiated over 15 years ago," the company said in a statement.

In recent months, in response to pressure from consumers, the food giant has removed straws and plastic lids from its drinks, while plastic toys in its Happy Meal children's menus have been replaced. Its burgers now use Label Rouge flour and its muffins are now produced in France.