Healthy Food and Beverage Standards

On October 3, 2011, the City of Pasadena adopted one of the strongest vending and procurement policies in Southern California. The City of Pasadena Healthy Food and Beverage Vending and Procurement Policy includes the following provisions:

  • Require 100% of snacks sold in vending machines on City property to meet specified nutrition standards.
  • Require 100% of beverages sold in vending machines on City property to meet specified nutrition standards.
  • Require 100% of beverages and snacks served at all meetings/programs/events led, or coordinated, by City staff or programs, using City funds, shall meet specified nutrition standards.

Contact Information

Mary Urtecho-Garcia
mugarcia@cityofpasadena.net
(626)744-6163

The goal of the standards is to improve the health of all City of Pasadena employees and residents that utilize City services and/or participate in City programs and events. The City updated the policy in November 2017, to reflect the nutritional standards of the USDA’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is updated every five years by the federal, government based on new medical science.

According to the Healthy Food and Beverage Vending and Procurement Policy, the standards set forth are:

All snack items must comply with the following: 

  • Total Fat: 35% or less of calories from fat
  • Saturated Fat: 10% or less of calories from saturated fat
  • Trans Fat: No trans fats or no “partially hydrogenated oil” listed in the ingredient list
  • Sugar: 35% or less sugar by weight
  • Calories: 200 calorie maximum per single serving food item
  • Sodium: 200 mg or less of sodium per package/serving and include at least one item that meets the snack criteria and also meets the FDA definition of “low sodium” less than 140 mg per serving or portion

All beverages must comply with the following: 

  • Fruit and/or vegetable based drinks that are 50-100% real juice and contain no added caloric or non-caloric sweeteners
  • Drinking water with no added caloric or non-caloric sweeteners
  • 1% low-fat or nonfat unflavored milk products
  • Dairy alternative (soy) products that contain no more than 35% sugar by weight or contain no more than 3 teaspoons of sugar for one cup
  • Fresh coffee and tea, and any unsweetened iced tea

For additional resources on this policy, including exceptions and exemptions, refer to the following:
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