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Guidelines for Accepting or Contributing Donated Food Items
In the interest of protecting public health and safety, the Westport Weston Health District is urging Non-profit organizations to review and follow the guidelines below when accepting or contributing donated food items for events:
- Carefully check each container for expiration dates, signs of bloating, rust, or insects. Many food dates are labeled as “best by” dates relating to the quality of the foods. Other foods have true dates of expiration and in addition to bacterial growth may support the growth of molds. Such types of foods include canned/jarred peppers, vegetables, and pickled items. Food prepared with flours and grains may develop insect growth and molds.
- Do not accept or donate perishable foods that require refrigeration.
- All food items should come from commercially licensed vendors. Do not accept or contribute any food (except bake sale goods) prepared in residential kitchens. The WWHD has bake sale guidelines available.
- Check for signs of tampering or previously opened containers; plastic seals should be in tact, jar lids should “pop” when opened and should not be bulging.
- Keep a list of all donors and the items donated. Such lists may be kept confidential.
- All food donations should be stored at least 12” above the ground in dry comfortable temperatures. No chemicals or liquids should be stored above or on the same shelves with foods.