The Informed Dining in Health Care program requires retail food service establishments* located in health care facilities to provide customers nutrition information with a focus on calories and sodium. The program was developed in consultation with BC's health authorities.
How does the program work?
Informed Dining in Health Care applies to all retail food service establishments operating in a BC health authority owned or operated health care facility. This includes cafeterias, quick service outlets and coffee shops unless they meet certain exclusion criteria.
As part of this program, participating establishments provide nutrition information similar to what is available on prepackaged foods at the grocery store. The nutrition information is provided before or at the point of ordering. Calorie and sodium information is highlighted for all standard menu items. Daily calorie and sodium requirements are also displayed to help the public understand how menu items compare to daily nutrient needs.
How do I know if a restaurant is participating?
Look for the Informed Dining logo on restaurant menus and menu boards. Once you see the Informed Dining logo, you can be confident that nutrition information is nearby. Look for a nutrition display, nutrition menu, brochure or poster.
Participating Food Service Establishments
The Informed Dining program in being implemented in phases in health care. The following outlets have implemented the Informed Dining program.
The implementation dates for the Informed Dining program in other food service establishments in health care are as follows:
- Branded chains operated by food service contractors - December 31, 2015
- All cafeterias - December 31, 2015
- Independently operated outlets - March 31, 2016
The planned implementation timeline was determined in consultation with health authorities and is subject to change.
Why is the program being implemented in Health Care facilities?
Retail food service establishments in health care facilities serve patients, staff, families and friends, many of whom live with chronic diseases. It is important that nutrition information is available to help these customers make informed choices.
The Province of British Columbia wants to model best practices for health in provincially funded facilities. By setting an example, we hope to motivate other restaurants in the private sector to provide nutrition information to support customers in making healthier choices.
Does the Informed Dining in Health Care program include patient food?
No, the program does not apply to patient food services.
I am an Informed Dining in Health Care retail food service establishment...
Where can I find the Informed Dining in Health Care Participation Guide?
The Health Care Participation Guide provides those responsible for implementation of the Informed Dining program in health care facilities with participation information. The guide describes the program elements and requirements, the steps to implementation and the supports provided to health authorities to help implement the program.
Where can I find the Contact Form and Implementation Plan template?
Participating retail food service establishments are required to submit a Contact Form and an Implementation Plan during program enrollment and implementation planning. These forms can be downloaded here:
What resources are available to train my staff?
Resources are available to help food service staff understand the program and assist guests in knowing where to get more information.
Where can I get help with implementing the program?
Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC:
- Dial 8-1-1
- Or Email a Dietitian
Where do I submit my Contact Form or Implementation Plan?
Mail: Ministry of Health, Healthy Living Branch
1515 Blanshard Street, 4th floor Victoria, BC V8W 3C8
Attn: Informed Dining
Upon review of the Contact Form or Implementation Plan template, a representative from the Ministry of Health will contact you within five business days.