SF Happy Meal toy ban going into effect

Nov. 30, 2011 at 8:52 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco will start charging 10 cents for toys included in Happy Meals to comply with a city ordinance, one owner says.

A city law banning free toys in kids' meals high in fat, salt and sugar goes into effect Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"It complies with the letter of the law," McDonald's franchise owner Scott Rodrick said of his plan to charge a dime extra for the toys without changing the menus at his 10 s in San Francisco.

There are 19 McDonald's outlets in San Francisco and three other franchise owners indicated they also would add 10 cents to their Happy Meals, the Chronicle said.

The proceeds collected from the sale of the toys at his fast-food outlets will be used to help build a Ronald McDonald House to benefit families with sick children.

Danya Proud, director of media relations for McDonald's USA, said the 10-cent fee idea came after surveying customers.

"They told us 10 cents is fair and reasonable," especially once they found out the money would go toward charity, she said.

A chief sponsor of the law, Supervisor Eric Mar, said eliminating toys from high-fat children's meals was meant to add incentive for restaurants to offer healthier options.

"McDonald's and the others are gradually moving in the direction we want," Mar said. "But I think that we in San Francisco, and Santa Clara County before us, are making them move more quickly than they would have otherwise. But there's still a long way to go."

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