Food Safety & Security

On this page, access information about food safety (making sure our food is safe to eat), and food security (working toward a food supply that is stable and sustainable) in British Columbia.

Food Safety

Food safety – making sure our food is safe to eat – is important for all of us. One in eight British Columbians get a food-borne illness (“food poisoning”) every year.

Food-borne illness comes from eating food contaminated with bacteria, parasites or viruses, poisonous chemicals or natural substances such as poisonous mushrooms. Common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever. People may not realize they have a food-borne illness because they can get sick hours or even days after eating the contaminated food.

Most people are sick for a few days and then get better. However, food-borne illness can be life threatening for especially vulnerable people, such as children, pregnant women, the elderly and individuals with weak immune systems.

The Ministry of Health shares the responsibility for ensuring a safe food supply with the Ministry of Agriculture, BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), health authorities and Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Learn more about food safety in B.C.:

Food Security

Food security is the foundation for healthy eating and requires a food supply that is stable and sustainable.  A person is considered food secure if they can access with dignity, healthy food that is affordable, safe, culturally appropriate, and meets their nutritional needs and preferences.

Learn more about food security efforts in B.C.: