Ownership of waste is an interesting liability issue in terms of food consumption. One of the reasons waste becomes such is because it has somehow violated its ability to be sold under FDA regulations (expired, damaged package etc). In my experience in food service, the liability to the original seller needs to be eliminated in order for food to be donated verses trashed. For instance, Starbucks shops can donate their extra pastries to a local food shelf or soup kitchen but prior to doing so have to remove all labeling, which often requires re-wrapping food products (more waste), so the receiver of the pastry ultimately does not have evidence of origin to sue should they become ill from eating this product. I wonder how food waste for further consumption (like a salvage store) could be publicly managed when it seems at odds with the purposes of FDA regulations of food safety. Maybe if nobody’s paying for it, it skirts the liability issue- I’m not sure how soup kitchens manage it. I would guess, though, that food shelves, while free, have to follow certain FDA guidelines.
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