Just discovered that there's a law protecting restaurants and stores from getting sued for food they donate (1 Viewer)

Oddman

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
39
Current Location
Minneapolis, USA
...So they have no excuse. It's called the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, and it's federal US law, so it applies in every state. If someone tries to use the old "we can't give you that, it's a liability thing" on you sometime, it might be handy to know the name of the law, and then you'll be right and sound impressive and knowledgeable enough that they might back down and give it to you.

I don't read a lot of laws, as a general rule, but I read this one. It's pretty short if you want to read it yourself at that link. But basically it boils down to: A restaurant (or grocery store or whatever) can't be sued by someone who receives donated food from them, unless they're deliberately giving away stuff they think might harm you.

It does say state laws can override it, so you can either (boring) look up whether your state has any such laws or (zinger) let the person know that, whatever the laws are, there has never ever been a case of someone suing over spoiled donated food.
 
Last edited:
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
144
Age
60
Current Location
Cooperstown, Ny
Website
www.youtube.com
There HAS been a case of suing over donated food. That's what started the whole thing of NOT donating food. It was in SF during the late 80s that a homeless sued over getting sick from a salmon plate that was donated from a large hotel to a shelter. It was a regular service from the hotel to the shelter but after that incident the hotel would not give a roll to a duck. All the others followed. ~ peace
 

Juan Derlust

Resident itinerant paradoxymoron
StP Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
1,046
Current Location
in medias res
There HAS been a case of suing over donated food. That's what started the whole thing of NOT donating food. It was in SF during the late
80s that a homeless sued over getting sick from a salmon plate that was donated from a large hotel to a shelter. It was a regular service from the hotel to the shelter but after that incident the hotel would not give a roll to a duck. All the others followed. ~ peace
According to the article from the highlighted link, "There is no available public record of anyone in the United States being sued ― or having to pay damages ― because of harms related to donated food" so I guess the was either dismissed or lost?
Dammit - now I'm spending my morning and battery in pointless research...
 
Last edited:
OP
Oddman

Oddman

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
39
Current Location
Minneapolis, USA
Hmmm, yeah, I've never heard of the salmon case. The article attributes the information that no one's ever been sued to "Nicole Civita, a professor and director of the Food Recovery Project with the University of Arkansas School of Law and assistant director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling College." Which sounded like a fairly reliable source.

@A Simple Step Van I can't find anything about the salmon case, but that sounds a little too specific to just be urban legend... any idea where more information could be found?

Another thought is that, since that was supposedly in the '80s, you could tell the person who has food you want that there's never been a lawsuit since that law was passed.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
144
Age
60
Current Location
Cooperstown, Ny
Website
www.youtube.com
Both Cummings and Civita agree that getting the FDA and local health departments to help craft more clear guidelines on how to donate food safely is critical to getting more restaurants on board to donate.

^ from that link

Sorry to get you guys searching and all. That's the story I was told. The 1996 law is there but like the above paragraph states. The dept of health has guidelines and if that is the case then, yeah I can see where a restaurant would be hesitant. All states are different and all the regs are too.

The place I work at now has green buckets and brown buckets and blue buckets. The blue gets all recyclables, the brown gets garbage and the green gets all food, FOOD waste and oils. The green ones get capped and put on the loading dock where a farmer picks them all up and leaves empty ones. The farmer composts it about five piles that are mixed and rotated with landscaping material and the soil is rich and black and grows more food which is used and what does not goes into the green bucket and the cycle starts again. No inspectors or certificates required.

But the amount of food that this country wastes is horrendous. I don't know what it'll take for people to wise up. I do know that if someone has gone hungry, and I mean realllly hungry, then that person, from that point on, most likely won't waste food. ~ peace
 
OP
Oddman

Oddman

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
39
Current Location
Minneapolis, USA
I don't know what it'll take for people to wise up. I do know that if someone has gone hungry, and I mean realllly hungry, then that person, from that point on, most likely won't waste food.
I believe you answered your question. Been learning about my family history. My grandma's grandma, raising 12 kids just outside the Badlands during the Depression, sometimes got weevils in her flour bin. She would just take a sieve and sift them out.

Better guidelines should help convince restaurants to set up regular donation schedules, but in an individual-to-individual situation, if I'm just trying to get someone to quit telling me it's a liability thing, I'll probably tell them about the lack of lawsuits. It would definitely be nice if the laws were clearer and less boneheaded.

After a lot of traveling life, I've come to the opinion that one of the major forces ruining the world is insurance. "We can't do that, insurance won't cover it" — the laws are actually pretty permissive of a lot of interesting lifestyle choices, just a bare minimum of rules, but insurance is like your school rules from 3rd grade: a bunch of extra bullshit built on top of that for people who don't have common sense. Only difference is, 3rd-graders don't have common sense because they haven't developed it yet, people obeying insurance rules don't have common sense because insurance has trained them not to. It keeps people in a tightly circumscribed box of what's allowed and what's thinkable, and kills change at the root.

This was sort of a ramble.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$15.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $15.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $15.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $15.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $15.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

I've made some layout adjustments to featured content threads. They should look much prettier on mobile devices, although I'm still working on how the main featured page displays on those devices...
Due to a software bug, I've had to disable the ability for users to delete their accounts until a fix is released (hopefully no more than a few days).
You ever look back and kind of wonder even if you wanted to try to fix things... How you even begin to apologise for Fucking up someone's life??
The self defense group is going so far so great!
Three years of loving and caring, down the backed up toilet.
I feel uncomfortable with all of the transphobic micro-aggressions being thrown around here lately. I also feel uncomfortable standing up in defense of trans folk, me included, in fear of developing discourse without the consequence of proper accountability.
Barf wrote on Brodiesel710's profile.
There's a fish in the percolator
I'm in NYC. What's good? Anyone wanna kick it? Where can I camp without getting hassled?
Roof vent is installed, fixed the side mirror, mounted the solar panels and ran the wires into the van. Currently working on putting in the floor. It's a lot but I'm making steady progress.
Anyone is Portland wanna kick it for a night and get motey'd up?!

Members online