Edible Food Recovery
Edible Food Recovery
What is edible food? Edible food is food intended for people to eat, including food not sold because of appearance, age, freshness, grade, surplus, etc. Edible food includes, but is not limited to, prepared foods, packaged foods and produce. All edible food must meet the food safety requirements of the California Retail Food Code (PDF).
To reduce unnecessary food waste and help address food insecurity, SB 1383 requires that by 2025, the State of California recover and redistribute 20 percent of edible food that would have otherwise been sent to landfills. Almost 1 in 4 Californians don’t have enough to eat. Feeding hungry people through food recovery is the best use for edible food.
Information for Edible Food Generators
SB 1383 requires certain businesses that are defined as either a "Tier 1" or "Tier 2" edible food generators to recover edible food. Please see the list below for the types of businesses that fall under the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories and when each is required to start recovering edible food.
Tier 1 effective January 01, 2022
Tier 2 effective January 1, 2024
Senate Bill 1383 requires Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators to do the following:
- Recover excess edible food - SB 1383 does not require all excess edible food to be donated. It does however, state the following for Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators:
- Edible food generators shall not intentionally spoil edible food that is capable of being recovered by a food recovery organization or service.
- Edible food generators are allowed to give away excess food to employees, take it home for personal use, give it away to customers, etc.
- Edible food generators must recover (for human consumption) the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be disposed. This can be accomplished by donating or paying for the food to be recovered by a food recovery organization or service, which includes, but is not limited to food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, for-profit food recovery services and other non-profits that distribute food to people in need.
- A large venue or large event operator that does not provide food services, but allows for food to be provided, shall require food facilities operating at the large venue or large event to comply with the SB 1383 edible food recovery requirements.
- Establish contracts or written agreements - Tier 1 and Tier 2 generators must establish contracts or written agreements with food recovery organizations and services. Food recovery organizations and services vary in the amount and types of food they can receive, so edible food generators may need to establish contracts or written agreements with multiple food recovery organizations and services to be in compliance. CalRecycle has developed a Model Food Recovery Agreement that can be used as a template. These contracts can include the establishment of a regular edible food delivery or collection schedule, identifying allowable edible foods for recovery, and cost-sharing options.
- Maintain Recordkeeping- Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators must maintain records of their food recovery activities. This recordkeeping includes the following:
- A list of each food recovery service or organization that collects or receives its edible food under a contract or written agreement
- A copy of contracts or written agreements between the edible food generator and a food recovery service or organization
- For each food recovery organization or service that the Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators has a contract or written agreement with, records must contain:
- The name, address and contact information of the service or organization
- The types of food that will be collected by or self-hauled to the service organization
- The established frequency that food will be collected or self-hauled
- The quantity of food collected or self-hauled to a service or organization for food recovery. The quantity shall be measured in pounds recovered per month.
The City will post and maintain a list of edible food recovery organizations and services in Orange County. Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators will be able to use this list to find a good match for their redistribution of edible food items. List of Edible Food Recovery Organizations and Services in San Juan Capistrano and Orange County (PDF)
City Requirement: The City is required by the state to monitor compliance by performing annual inspections to review the following records:
- Contract or written agreement information with food recovery organizations
- Schedules for food recovery deliveries or collections
- Quantity of food recovered in pounds per month
- Types of food each food recovery organization will receive or collect
More information for Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators is available on CalRecycle's website: https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/slcp/foodrecovery/donors
The EPA created a list of ideas and activities that grocery stores and other food generators can implement to prevent food waste. Explore ways to mitigate food waste here.