Food Policy

There are a number of provincial food policies, regulations and guidelines in British Columbia that support healthy eating. The BC trans fat regulation and Informed Dining are examples of provincial food policies that support healthy eating at food service establishments. Food policy at the federal level also supports healthy eating. Examples of federal food policy include food labelling and advertising regulations, Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, and the Food and Drug Regulations.

Useful Websites

Informed Dining

The Informed Dining program is a voluntary nutrition information program for restaurants developed by the Province of British Columbia. Participating restaurants provide their guests with nutrition information, that is easy to access and understand, for all standard menu items.

Trans Fat Help

Industrially produced trans fat increases your risk of heart disease. The B.C. government restricts trans fat in all food service establishments. The Trans Fat Help website provides detailed information about the three requirements under the BC trans fat regulation and includes guidance on how to replace partially hydrogenated oils and shortenings with healthier alternatives. The Consumer Guide will help you learn what you can do to reduce your intake of trans fat at home, at the grocery store, and at restaurants.

Healthy Families BC

The Healthy Families BC website provides useful information on general healthy eating topics including nutrition basics and grocery shopping. The site also supports provincial food polices such as reducing sodium and sugary drinks.

As part of B.C.’s Sodium Reduction Plan, the B.C. government is working in partnership with B.C. health authorities to lower the sodium content of patient and resident meals in publicly funded health care facilities. Through this ongoing initiative health authorities have succeeded in making significant reductions to the sodium content of health care menus.

Ministry of Education - Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools

The Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools (the Guidelines) define the nutrition standard that schools are required to use to determine what food and beverages can be sold to students. This document contains information, tools and fact sheets to support implementation of the Guidelines across the school setting.

Visit our For Schools and Communities web page for resources to support the Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools.

Ministry of Health – Nutritional Guidelines for Vending Machines in B.C. Public Buildings

The Nutritional Guidelines for Vending Machines in B.C. Public Buildings aim to increase healthier food choices in vending machines. The guidelines define which prepackaged foods should be sold most, sold sometimes or not sold based on their ingredients and nutritional content. The guidelines are mandatory for vending machines in B.C. Public Buildings, such as hospitals, universities and government buildings. Other organizations with vending machines or concessions, such as municipal recreation and community centers, are strongly encouraged to adopt this standard for prepackaged food and beverages. Vendors and consumers can use the Brand Name Food List to find out how specific vending products score according to the guidelines.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is a federal agency that works together with industry, consumers, and organizations across the country to protect Canadians from preventable health risks related to food. Learn more about food labeling, advertising requirements, as well as policies which apply to statements and claims made for food and beverages.

Health Canada

Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health. These Health Canada resources provide information on food policy related healthy eating topics.

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