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San Francisco Health Network
Environmental Health

Food Safety Program: Proposition 65

If you have been in a San Francisco public building since 1986, chances are you have seen this sign:

"Warning: Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm may be present in food or beverages sold or served here."

This language is from California's Proposition 65, also known as the "Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986." Proposition 65 requires the public to be notified about the presence of certain chemicals in food, beverages, or other consumer products.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors amended the San Francisco Health Code to strengthen the local enforcement of Proposition 65, which took effect in December 2005. The amendments required the Department of Public Health to enforce existing Proposition 65 requirements by ensuring that food product and marketing establishments as well as food preparation and service establishments provide any required Proposition 65 health warnings to customers in English, Spanish and Chinese.

In addition, the law requires that establishments that are parties to existing settlements and consent judgments in cases filed under Proposition 65, provide required warnings in English, Spanish and Chinese.

For more information regarding California's Proposition 65, see the Helpful Links on the right side of the page or the Proposition 65 Frequently Asked Questions (pdf).