Legalities Of Donating Food To Charity
The Civil Liability Amendment (Food Donations) Act 2005 is in place in NSW to protect food donors. Similar legislation exists elsewhere.
This Act offers protection for food donors from civil liability as long as the food is donated for a charitable purpose with the intention that the consumer will not have to pay for the food, and where the food was safe to consume at the time of donation.
Businesses donating surplus food must ensure that:
- the food is donated in good faith for a charitable or benevolent purpose
- the food is donated with the intention that the receiver of the food does not have to pay for the food
- the food is safe to eat when it leaves the possession or control of the donor, and
- the donor gives the charity any information it needs to ensure the ongoing safety of the food.
The donor should also check to ensure that the charity is doing everything necessary to keep the food safe.
What kind of food can be donated?
- Leftover unused portions of food that have not been served to customers or clients such as sandwiches or salads from a café
- Food purchased by a food related business that becomes surplus to their requirements such as fresh or long-life produce
- Excess food at food markets or supermarkets
- Food grown at farms that does not meet the size or cosmetic criteria set by supermarkets
- Food that has damaged or incorrect packaging from food manufacturers.