Gov. Brown Signs Food Recovery Bill Seen as Model for Other States

By Cole Rosengren, Waste Dive. 

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1219, the California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, into law on Oct. 9. The act expands existing state liability protections to cover donations made directly to end users, whereas the previous law only covered donations made to food banks or non-profit groups. AB 1219 was co-sponsored by Californians Against Waste and the California Association of Food Banks.

Another key change made by AB 1219 is that donations of perishable or nonperishable food will now be protected if deemed "fit for human consumption," regardless of whether those items have exceeded their recommended date labels.

Californians Against Waste also sponsored AB 954, which is still awaiting Brown's signature. That bill would direct the California Department of Food & Agriculture, in coordination with the Department of Public Health, to publish information about date label standards by July 2018. Manufacturers, processors and retailers would be asked to voluntarily begin using "BEST if Used by” or “BEST if Used or Frozen by” to indicate quality dates, and “USE by” or “USE by or Freeze by” to indicate safety dates.