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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

AFL 18-53
December 12, 2018

General Acute Care Hospitals (GACH)
Acute Psychiatric Hospitals (APH)
Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)
Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF)
Special Hospitals (SH)
Nursing Facilities (NF)
Correctional Treatment Centers (CTC)

Senate Bill (SB) 1138: Food Options: Plant-based Meals

AUTHORITY:      Health and Safety Code (HSC) section 1265.10 and Penal Code (PEN) section 2084

All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

This AFL notifies GACHs, APHs, SNFs, ICFs, SHs, NFs, and CTCs of the chaptering of SB 1138, requiring these licensed facilities to make plant-based meals available to patients.

Effective January 1, 2019, SB 1138 (Chapter 512, Statutes 2018) requires GACHs, APHs, SNFs, ICFs, SHs, and NFs to make plant-based meal options available to meet the needs of patients in accordance with their physicians’ orders. To comply with this requirement, the plant-based meal must not contain any animal products or by-products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, or eggs.

SB 1138 also requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to make plant based meals available to inmates in a cost neutral manner. Therefore, CTCs must also make plant-based meal options available for inmate-patients.

CDPH’s failure to expressly notify facilities of statutory or regulatory requirements does not relieve facilities of their responsibility for following all laws and regulations. Facilities should refer to the full text of all applicable sections of HSC and the California Code of Regulations to ensure compliance. 
If you have any questions about this AFL, please contact your local district office.


Original signed by Scott Vivona

Scott Vivona
Assistant Deputy Director

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