Food Safety for Donors


 Thank you for considering donating food to food assistance organizations! Below is everything you need to know to make sure your donated food is safe to send.

Watch our video

Watch this short, informative food safety video for food donors.

Guidelines for Food Donors video

***Disclaimer: This video includes handwashing shown at the 4-minute mark. The handwashing is correct, but there’s a subtle yet important error in hand drying. The correct method is to dry hands first, then wrists, then forearms, so that the potentially unwashed areas are the LAST thing to be dried. 

Proper Handwashing for Food Service Workers

Watch this informative food safety webinar.

Food Safety Webinar from Community Food Rescue on Vimeo.


Food Safety Guidelines and Brochures

All CFR participants must follow county approved Food Safety Guidelines for safe handling, transportation and distribution of rescued food, which are available for download and printing.

How do you know if food is safe to eat, even if the label is past the current date or a can is slightly dented? How do you properly store, thaw, cook, and freeze different types of foods? Read CFR’s Food Safety Brochure to find out, available as downloadable PDFs in these languages: English, French, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

If you’d like printed copies of English or and Spanish language brochures, please contact the CFR Director,

Foods Suitable for Donation

Further Info


The Good Samaritan Act Protects Food Donors from Liability

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act established in 1996, protects businesses that donate food in good faith from being held liable should someone become sick from the food. The only exception to the law is in the case of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Additionally, Maryland Health-General Code Ann §21-322, states, “A person [nonprofit corporation, organization, or association], shall have the immunity from liability for any act or omission that affects the nature, age, condition, or packaging of the donated food.”

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