The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) 2022 Food Code helps reduce barriers to food donations by clarifying that food donations from retail food establishments are acceptable, given that proper food safety practices are followed. While the Food Code never prohibited such donation practices, FDA made the update to explicitly state that such practices are acceptable.

FDA encourages donation of food that is stored, prepared, packaged, displayed, and labeled according to applicable provisions contained in the Food Code or local, state, and federal statutes, regulations, and ordinances.

The Conference for Food Protection is the main forum for all retail stakeholder groups— including government, industry, consumers, and academia— to contribute to updating the Food Code, which represents FDA's best advice for a uniform system of provisions that address retail food safety. Although adoption the Food Code is not required, it has been widely adopted by state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies that regulate more than one million restaurants; retail food stores; vending operations; and foodservice operations in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and childcare centers.

Members of FDA’s National Retail Food Team are available to assist regulatory officials, educators, and industry in their efforts to adopt, implement, and understand the provisions of the FDA Food Code, as well as the  Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards.