January 22, 2008
FOOD DONATION-IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY
By: John Kasprak, Senior Attorney
You asked whether state law provides any immunity from liability for donors of food.
Under Connecticut law, (1) any person who donates food for use or distribution by a nonprofit organization or nonprofit corporation and (2) any nonprofit organization or corporation that collects and distributes food to other nonprofits either for free or for a nominal fee, is not liable for civil damages or criminal penalties resulting from the nature, age, condition or packaging of the food. A person donating food includes, but is not limited to, a seller, farmer, processor, distributor, wholesaler or retailer of food (CGS § 52-557l).
The protection does not apply if (1) the donor, when making the donation or (2) the nonprofit entity at the time of distributing the food, knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that the food was adulterated or unfit for human consumption.