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Businesses donating food

If you run a business that donates food, then you will find all the information you need about donations here.

Food donation may arise at any stage of the food production and distribution chain for a number of different reasons. Due to difficulties in managing supply and demand, some food businesses may have a surplus of supply to meet orders and often orders for food may be cancelled resulting in excess stock. In certain cases, errors in the labelling or packaging could mean that the perfectly safe food will not be entered into the marketplace and so is available for donation.

Food businesses can choose to donate food once it is safe and in a condition that would mean that the product is still suitable for purchase, i.e., an acceptable condition.

The process of food donation must also be considered within the food safety management system of the donating food business. 

All food businesses, whether donating or receiving and handling donated food, must also make themselves aware of their legal responsibilities under food legislation.


This information is intended to provide an overview of general food safety guidance to food businesses involved in the donation of food. 

It contains relevant questions and answers to help clarify the legal provisions in EU food legislation thus allowing the donation and receipt of food. It also includes links to guidance on compliance with relevant legislation.