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Citywide Nutrition Standards

In 2014, the City of Philadelphia issued Executive Order 4-14, establishing citywide nutrition standards for foods and beverages purchased, prepared or served by City agencies.

Consider these facts:

  • One in five children and one in three adults in Philadelphia are obese.
  • Thirty-eight percent of all Philadelphians, and almost half of African American Philadelphians, have high blood pressure.
  • Approximately 2,000 deaths in Philadelphia annually are linked to poor diet and physical inactivity.
  • Improved diet can decrease the risk of these diet-related chronic diseases.
  • Annually, the City serves over 20 million meals and snacks to almost 64,000 Philadelphians, including 20,000 youth.

As a government, large employer, and service and program provider for vulnerable populations, the City of Philadelphia has a responsibility to serve healthy food that is tasty and appealing. Comprehensive food standards are an evidence-based strategy to align meals and snacks with the latest dietary guidance. They serve as a model for other large institutions and employers, and send a market signal to suppliers to provide and competitively price healthy food options.


Philadelphia Comprehensive Food StandardsComprehensive Food Standards

Food standards apply to all agencies that purchase, serve, sell, or otherwise provide food to clients, patients, employees and the general public, including contracted vendors. These standards were revised in 2016.

The Philadelphia Comprehensive Food Standards are made up of two parts:

  1. Nutrition Standards: required and recommended guidelines for foods purchased, meals and snacks served, and vending machines
  2. Best Practice Guidelines: recommended guidelines for special occasions, concessions, catering, and special events; recommended sustainability guidelines for all foodservice.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health will be providing support to agencies to incorporate the food standards into your meal service. The Comprehensive Food Standards and Implementation Guide provides tools and tips to help you implement these standards in your facility.

Please contact Catherine Bartoli, Registered Dietitian, with any questions or for more information.


Philadelphia Comprehensive Food Standards
Comprehensive Food Standards and Implementation Guide
CDC Guide: Improving the Food Environment Through Nutrition Standards
ChangeLab Solutions: Understanding Healthy Procurement: Using Government’s Purchasing Power to Increase Access to Healthy Food.
The CDC’s Sodium Reduction in Communities Program
The Food Trust Report: Building and Implementing Healthy Food Services
Food and Beverage Environment and Procurement Policies for Healthier Work Environments

Healthy Vending Standards

In 2011, the City of Philadelphia passed a healthy vending policy that applies to over 300 vending machines in the City’s centralized vending contract. Get Healthy Philly first partnered with the Procurement Department, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and the City’s vending partner to implement healthy beverage vending standards, followed by healthy snack standards in 2012. Early sales data showed that while overall sales have decreased slightly, the percent of sales that are healthy food and beverages has increased.


Healthy Vending Executive Summary
Healthy Vending Sales Data Brief
Making Health Easier: Healthy Snacking in Philadelphia, PA
Success Stories – Healthier Worksites

Find Out More

Community Food Access & Affordability
Active Living in Communities
Youth Wellness
Clinical Linkages
Media and Policy Environments

For more information, visit Food Fit Philly or call 311.