Bureau of Food Distribution
The Food Recovery Resource Guide
What are the Legal Issues?

The Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act provides uniform national protection to those that act in good faith to donate, recover and distribute excess food. Likewise, Florida has enacted legislation that specifically addresses the liability for canned or perishable food distributed free of charge. Pursuant to s. 768.136(2) and (3), Florida Statutes:

What are the Legal Issues?

(2) "A good faith donor or gleaner of any canned or perishable food, apparently fit for human consumption, to a bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization for free distribution shall not be subject to criminal penalty or civil damages arising from the condition of the food, unless an injury is caused by the gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of the donor or gleaner."

(3) "A bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization, or any representative or volunteer acting on behalf of such organization or an uncompensated person acting in a philanthropic manner providing services similar to those of such an organization, which accepts, collects, transports, or distributes any canned or perishable food, apparently fit for human consumption, from a good faith donor or gleaner for free distribution shall not be subject to criminal penalty or civil damages arising from the condition of the food, unless an injury is caused by the gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of an agent of the charitable or nonprofit organization."



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