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Can I Donate Expired Food

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Is expired non-perishable food still good to donate?

Foodbank Victoria receives a wide variety of food and grocery products from our generous donors. Many of our products come to us because they are nearing the end of their shelf life, and we work hard to ensure that those products are distributed to our agency partners as quickly as possible.

Under Australian Food Safety Standards, there are two main types of expiry Best Before and Use By. The vast majority of food products you will see at Foodbank Victoria and on your supermarket shelves will feature one of these formats.

Use By Date

A mark of product safety. You should not distribute or consume foods after their Use By Date, and it is illegal to sell a product after its Use By has elapsed without an official shelf life extension from the product manufacturer. In some cases shelf life can be extended by freezing a product before its UBD.

Best Before Date

The most common format. Most packaged foods feature a BBD, which is an indicator of a products quality up to a certain date. These products can be legally sold and safely consumed after their Best Before Date, although the quality will often begin to decline.

We have worked with our network of over 2,000 food donors to develop the below issue guide. This is a suggestion and is not legal advice, but it is very similar to Foodbank Victorias own distribution guide.

Product Group

What Are Good Non Perishable Foods

12 of the Best Non-Perishable FoodsDried and canned beans. With a long shelf life and high nutrient content, dried and canned beans are smart non-perishable food choices. … Nut butters. … Dried fruits and vegetables. … Canned fish and poultry. … Nuts and seeds. … Grains. … Canned vegetables and fruits. … Jerky.More items…Jan 16, 2020

Lesson : Think About Going With Them

I am not going to lie, the first day when we pulled up and saw a large teen group escorted by 3 sheriffs I was a little worried. The next day the sheriffs were escorting a group of adults. There is a large diversity among the people who volunteer. Obviously one of the reasons to volunteer with your kids is to expose them to different views of the world. We had a great experience working with all of the volunteers here.

Recommended Reading: Greater Boston Food Bank Volunteer

Lesson : Companies Donate A Lot Of Soda And Junk Food

Soda donation at food bank of the rockies. Photo Credit to Kia Ru

On a trip here last year with some bloggers we saw pallets and pallets of Sun Drop soda. All of us were taken aback. Apparently, that is par for the course. During my volunteer time I processed more 2 liters of various types of pop than I knew existed. Coming in a close second were Pop Tarts. I am certainly not a health food fanatic but I think everyone agrees that they wouldnt want to open a food box full of only that to feed their family. I wouldnt.

What Happens If You Buy Out Of Date Food

Expired food donations drop noticeably at Neighbour to Neighbour Centre ...

When the date is passed, it doesn’t mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture. It’s completely legal for shops to sell food past the best before date. Use by dates are about food safety, it’s illegal for shops to sell any food that has passed this date.

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Safe Food Handling Practices


Although training is not a requirement for preparing food donations, food safety classes explain the food safety precautions required with feeding large groups. Many local health agencies, WSU Cooperative Extension offices, and food industry associations give short classes on food safety.


A knowledgeable group leader with food safety training and a Washington State Food Worker Card, if possible, should be selected to organize the food preparation efforts. Children under 10 years old should only handle wrapped foods, raw produce, and raw dry food staples to limit the potential for food safety errors. Food workers who are ill should not handle or prepare food.


Proper handwashing facilities and supplies must be convenient for all food handlers.

All food handlers should wash their hands before beginning work, and after:

  • Going to the restroom.
  • Coughing or sneezing into their hands.
  • Handling raw meat.
  • Hands become dirty.
Preventing Bare Hand Contact

To prevent the spread of germs, it is important to keep bare hands from touching foods that will not be cooked or washed before being eaten. Utensils or gloves can be used to prevent bare hand contact. Utensils need to be cleaned and sanitized between uses.

Food Storage
Food Transportation
Potentially Hazardous Foods

Certain foods, called potentially hazardous foods, let bacteria grow quickly. It is important to keep these foods at safe temperatures to prevent bacteria from growing.

Cooking Temperatures

Can ‘expired’ Foods Be Donated

Expired foods can be donated.We had to say it because not everyone knows it. Food items that are past their best before dates are accepted and appreciated at food donation stations and food banks across the country. Please help spread the word.

Estimates vary, but each and every year a large percentage of food produced for people to eat in the U.S. goes to waste. When we began in 2011 the estimates of food waste were around 40%, wed like to think that people are putting a dent in that number so want to believe some of the more current estimates that have come in as low as 25-30%. Even if they are now lower, its still too high.

You may be thinking: Is it OK to donate expired food? Do food banks accept expired foods? The answer to both questions is an overwhelming YES!!. That answer is even backed by the USDA.

Also Check: San Antonio Food Bank Volunteer

Who Will Take Food Donations

  • Food pantries: Use Aunt Bertha to find a food pantry near you that accepts donations. Call ahead to make sure that the pantry can accept your donation and to coordinate how and when it should be delivered or picked up.
  • Food rescue programs like Keep Austin Fed may be able to help with donation logistics.

Can I Donate Expired Food Or Perishable Food

Why food banks prefer cash over cans

At SPAN we do not distribute foods that are past their expiration dates. However, if we receive expired donations, we don’t let them go to waste. We have several local partners to whom we can donate.

Food dating is confusing because the US has no standard system for it. Only 20 states require dates on some perishable foods such as meat and dairy. The one exception is infant formulas, which require an expiration date due to the deterioration of nutrients over time.

Manufacturers often place a “use by” or “best if used by” date on their items to help consumers get the best quality, but these foods will almost certainly still be good beyond this date. A sell by date tells a retailer when to pull an item from the shelves.

According to the USDA, high-acid canned goods, like tomatoes and citrus, will keep for up to 18 months. Low-acid canned goods – pretty much everything else – will last for up to five years. Canned foods are sterile, so they wont host bacteria, but eventually the taste and texture will deteriorate. Keep them at room temperature in a dark place. Toss any cans that are bulging or leaking, or that spurt liquid when opened. Although the toxin that causes botulism is extremely rare in commercial canned goods, damaged cans have a higher chance of being contaminated.

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Food Vs Financial Donations

Coordinating a food & funds drive with your family business, school, church, or community organization can make a difference in the life of people who are hungry. Learn more about hosting a food & funds drive. For additional information on food drives, please contact Alex Branham at 330.436.3170.

All food drive donations are inspected three unique times by our team of skilled volunteers before the items can be distributed to our network of hunger-relief partners. These volunteers are looking to ensure that the food items havent been tampered with, recalled and are within the appropriate timeline to distribute according to the date printed on the food item. At the Foodbank, we want to ensure the food we distribute is food we would be proud to bring home to our own families.

Financial donations have an immediate impact by providing meals. Since we are in the business of receiving surplus food, financial donations allow us to purchase items to complement our varying menu while aiding in the process of rescuing and distributing food to our neighbors in need. While both food and financial donations are extremely necessary and valued, because of our large purchasing power, we can make your dollar go further. Every dollar donated to the Foodbank is the equivalent of four meals.

Your donations are protected against liability. View information on the Ohio Good Samaritan Law that protects food donors in Ohio.

How Do I Donate Food To The Homeless In Nyc

Where to donate food in NYCCamba’s Where You Can Food Drive. Bring canned food donations to any of Camba’s five Brooklyn locations to help stock the organization’s emergency food pantry, which feeds 4,300 Brooklynites a month. … Part of the Solution. … West Side Campaign Against Hunger.Nov 10, 2017

Recommended Reading: Food Bank Of Central Alabama

What Is A Pop

Pop-Up pantries distribute healthy meals directly to clients regularly to improve community food security and general health.

Several disadvantaged areas with inadequate access to healthy meals have been recognized by the Food Bank, including food deserts where supermarkets may not be readily accessible.

Recommended Reading: Does Food Bank Take Expired Food

What Is Canned Food

8 Lessons Learned Volunteering At Food Bank

Canning means preserving food for a longer duration of time by keeping it in an airtight container. It was developed in the 18th century for sailors and soldiers during the war. Canning involves three main steps.

Processing involves slicing, peeling, chipping, pitting, boning, cooking, or shelling. The next step involves sealing the food in airtight containers. After that, the cans are heated to kill any bacteria and to prevent the food from getting spoiled.

Recommended Reading: Southeastern Food Bank Of Virginia

Donate Food & Essentials

The Food Bank for Larimer County accepts donated food, including shelf-stable items such as canned and dry goods as well as dairy, meat, bakery items and fresh produce. We adhere to strict food safety guidelines for the food that we accept. Our staff is trained to pay close attention to date codes, especially with refrigerated products. Most of the dates on the food we distribute are not expiration dates they are best if used by or sell by dates. This means the product is wholesome beyond the date on the product.

In addition to food items, we also gladly accept non-food items like diapers, baby wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, menstrual products and other essentials that help our clients live healthy and rewarding lives.

What Do Groceries Do With Expired Food

Once food hits its sell-by date, many markets donate products to food banks or sell them to salvage stores. As darkness falls, your local supermarket becomes a hive of activity. From canned vegetables and salad dressings to fresh fruits and deli meats, countless items are removed from shelves by night staff.Jan 9, 2012

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Do Food Banks Accept Expired Food Uk

Any expired foods might not be safe to eat, so make sure to leave these out of the food banks donation drop-off bin. Food bank workers typically throw expired items out in order to avoid any risk to community members health, Villarreal says.

Where to drop off food donations in Chicago?

You can also drop off your donations to one of our designated public drop off locations listed above depending on their hours of operation. All food donations should be placed in taped boxes, not to exceed 40 lbs. and labeled with our Food Drive Box Label. To receive a Confirmation # please contact

How to donate to a local food pantry?

You are strongly encouraged to call ahead to make sure the pantry you want to donate to is open. Then click on More Information and Directions under a local food pantry

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

Local food bank donations increasing during the holiday season

According to this food banks website, 20% of Los Angelenos face food insecurity, and this organization is on a mission to reduce that number to 0. The food bank has temporarily paused on canned food donations from individuals, but theyve provided a list of local Los Angeles-area partners that are currently accepting donations.

To find the best food bank to donate food near you, head on over to this directory. Enter your location and select a radius of up to 15 miles.

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Dented Or Damaged Items

Dented, rusted, or damaged packaging means that the food inside might be spoiled, notes Delish. Make sure to examine packaging for signs of damage before you drop your food donation items off.

Food safety is a top priority at the Feeding America network of 200 food banks. Dented or damaged cans could be spoiled or contain harmful bacteria. Any cans that are badly dented, leaking, bulging, or rusted should be thrown out, suggests Villarreal.

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Keep Expired Canned Foods As A Decoy

Most preppers will have a fairly large stash of food in their home, but if a lot of people know that they have a lot of food they will start knocking on their door once the SHTF happens. In the worst-case scenario where looters will break into a house for food then you could use the expired canned foods as a decoy. Most looters will simply not check the expiration date, so you can take advantage of this.

This way the looters will have some easy pickings and most of your food stockpiles will be safe. Just place the expired canned foods in the kitchen as looters who are looking for food will start in the kitchen, and they probably dont know that storing canned foods in the kitchen is a bad idea. Just make sure to check the expired canned foods from time to time, the ones that have started to leak or are bloated should be thrown away. If you have a small business and you want to protect it from looters then check out my recent article How to protect your business from looters .

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Is It Safe To Eat The Canned Food Post

When donating the food, we should feel responsible for the health and well-being of people who might eat such food. Canned food post-expiration may not taste the best. However, there is no threat to the consumers health even when the canned food is consumed post expiration. The product should remain in good condition. The cans should not be bulging, rusting, dented, or leaking.

Foods Suitable For Donation

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Home-Prepared Foods

DONATED FOOD DISTRIBUTING ORGANIZATIONS are not allowed to accept or serve most types of homeprepared foods. However, homemade baked goods that do not need refrigeration to remain safe may be received from DONORS.

Commercially Packaged Foods Not Needing Refrigeration

The donation of commercially canned, boxed, and otherwise packaged foods is encouraged.

Fresh Produce Donations

Food donations may include fresh produce, including home-grown fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce should be protected from contamination and receive final preparation, such as washing and cutting, in a DONOR KITCHEN or licensed kitchen.

Food Prepared in a DONOR KITCHEN

Except for baked goods , DONATED FOOD DISTRIBUTING ORGANIZATIONS may not accept foods prepared in a home kitchen. Instead, foods for donation should be prepared in either a DONOR KITCHEN or a commercial food establishment, such as a restaurant.

A DONOR KITCHEN is a publicly available kitchen in a faith-based organization, community center, or other site. The DONOR KITCHEN does not need to have a health permit, but must have basic facilities such as adequate handwashing, dishwashing, refrigeration, and cooking equipment. It must have a safe water supply, be protected from weather and animals, and be cleaned before food preparation starts.

Uninspected Meat Donations
Food Donation by Licensed Food Establishments
Food Donation by Food Processors
Distressed Foods

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No Matter The Source Safety Tips Are The Same For Any Foods You Choose

Some foods that grocery stores, restaurants, and other retailers werent able to sell are donated to charity for example, when a products sell-by date has passed. Food manufacturers also may donate or sell some products that are near or past the expiration date. Some of these various foods also may end up being sold, at discount prices, in surplus grocery stores, food-salvage stores, or other bargain outlets.

An expired sell-by date, for example, doesnt necessarily mean that a food has gone bad or is unsafe. Donating this food often keeps good food from being wasted and provides nutrition to those you need it the most.

Lesson : Dont Donate Dented Cans Or Overly Expired Food

I literally, personally had to throw away over 3 huge trash cans, each weighing more than 350 lbs, of dented and expired cans. What broke my heart more was all of the expired baby food. What I did learn though was that you can donate expired canned goods up to 6 months from the date on the product. Just make sure it isnt dented. A minor dent is OK but anything near a seam or a sharp dent will have to be tossed. Baby food that is even one day expired or in a glass container wont make it through reclamation either. Neither will anything open. A box that has an inner lining still in tact-think a cereal box with the plastic bag inside- is OK but if the bag is open, its trashed.

Acceptable dates for expired food donated to Food Bank of the Rockies

Also Check: St Mary’s Food Bank Volunteer Opportunities

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