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.
This document relates to both food banks and food redistribution centres:
This type of charity collects food from other food business operators or from food redistribution centres, stores it and redistributes it to families/individuals which are considered the final consumer of the food.
Food Redistribution Centres
This type of charity brings surplus food in from other food business operators (Food Donors) and distributes it to other food business operators (Charities) and the process will be considered food business to food business for the purpose of food safety management.
Food businesses can choose to donate food once it is safe and in a condition that would allow the product to still be sold, 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 food must also make themselves aware of their legal responsibilities under food legislation.
All food businesses whether donating or receiving and handling 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 all food businesses whether involved in the donation or receipt and handling of food.
It contains relevant questions and answers to help clarify the legal provisions in EU food legislation thus allowing the safe donation and receipt of food. It also includes links to guidance on compliance with relevant legislation. A summary of the main pieces of legislation that may apply to your business/charity is highlighted below.
- Questions and answers for charities redistributing food (e.g. food banks, food redistribution centres redistributing food to other charities)
- Food ingredients that must be declared as allergens in the EU
- Mandatory food labelling information required under (EU) Regulation 1169/2011
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