Liability of food gleaners, donors and distributors
(1)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a gleaner or the good-faith donor of any food, apparently fit for human consumption, to a bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization, including but not limited to a food bank, for distribution without charge or on a scale reflecting ability to pay or only requiring a shared maintenance contribution, 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 conduct of the donor or gleaner.
(b) The immunity from civil liability and criminal penalty provided by this section applies regardless of compliance with any laws, rules or ordinances regulating the packaging or labeling of food, and regardless of compliance with any laws, rules or ordinances regulating the storage or handling of the food by the donee after the donation of the food.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization which in good faith receives food, apparently fit for human consumption, and while apparently fit for human consumption distributes it at no charge or on a fee scale reflecting ability to pay or only requiring a shared maintenance contribution, shall not be subject to criminal penalty or civil damages resulting from the condition of the food unless an injury results from the gross negligence, recklessness or intentional conduct of the organization.
(3) This section applies to the good-faith donation of food not readily marketable due to appearance, freshness, grade, surplus or other considerations but does not restrict the authority of any appropriate agency to regulate or ban the use of such food for human consumption.
(4) As used in this section:
(a) “Donor” includes any person who operates a restaurant or other food establishment licensed or regulated by law.
(b) “Food” means any food whether or not it may spoil or otherwise become unfit for human consumption because of its nature, type or physical condition, including but not limited to fresh or processed meats, poultry, seafood, dairy products, bakery products, eggs in the shell, fresh fruits or vegetables, and foods that have been packaged, canned, refrigerated, freeze-dried or frozen.
(c) “Food bank” means a surplus food collection and distribution system operated and established to assist in bringing donated food to nonprofit charitable organizations and individuals for the purpose of reducing hunger and meeting nutritional needs.
(d) “Gleaner” means a person that harvests for free distribution an agricultural crop that has been donated by the owner. [1979 c.265 §1; 1989 c.808 §1]
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