Food Donation


Food donation may arise at any stage of the food production and distribution chain for a number of different reasons including:

  • 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
  • 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.

It is perfectly acceptable for this ‘surplus’ food to be redistributed or donated by food businesses to various charities, once the food is still in an acceptable condition and it is handled and distributed safely.

Food donation may also arise through the provision of on-street food to the homeless by volunteer-led services.

All food businesses whether donating or receiving and handling donated food or providing on-street food to the homeless must make themselves aware of their legal responsibilities under food legislation.

Food Donation Guidance for: 

Last reviewed: 24/9/2021

Approved Food Establishments 


Food Labelling