Surplus Food Distribution Checklist

Use this Surplus Food Distribution Checklist from the UK Food Standards Agency to ensure safe and legal food redistribution, labeling and handling procedures.​

Surplus Food Distribution Checklist



Supplying Surplus – Your Responsibilities

1. Have a food safety management system, with all its steps in place.


Photo Comment

2. Check the date labels. It is illegal to supply food that is past its ‘Use By’ date’


Photo Comment

3. Store and transport the food safely – follow the storage guidance.


Photo Comment

4. If the food is chilled, store at the correct temperature, at all times.


Photo Comment

5. All food must be clearly labelled (or supplied with this information) with; date label, storage and use/cooking guidance (as well as other legally required information, such as ingredients with allergens, highlighted).


Photo Comment

6. If the fresh food is going to be frozen, follow the freezing guidance below (Freezing acts as a ‘pause button’ on the shelf life of food. So, if the food is suitable for freezing, it’s a great way to help more food get redistributed. It must be done safely and there are some specific labelling requirements.)


Photo Comment

7. If supplying surplus near or beyond its ‘Best Before’ date, check all products are of sufficient quality, pack integrity is maintained. and indicate how long each will be good to eat. You can use the WRAP/FSA/Defra guidance for this.


Photo Comment
Receiving Surplus – Your Responsibilities

1. Have a food safety management system, with all its steps in place.


Photo Comment

2. Check the date labels. It is illegal to supply food that is past its ‘Use By’ date’.


Photo Comment

3. Store, transport and cook/use the food safely. Check you have all the storage and use guidance needed - and follow it


Photo Comment

4. If the food is chilled, store at the correct temperature, at all times.


Photo Comment

5. If the food is fresh and frozen, or you will freeze it, follow the freezing guidance below: (Freezing acts as a ‘pause button’ on the shelf life of food. So, if the food is suitable for freezing, it’s a great way to help more food get redistributed. It must be done safely and there are some specific labelling requirements)


Photo Comment

6. If receiving surplus near or beyond its ‘Best Before’ date, check all products are of sufficient quality, pack integrity is maintained, and indicate how long each will be good to eat. You can use the WRAP/FSA/Defra guidance for this.


Photo Comment
The Organisation Freezing The Food Must

1. Ensure that the food is in an acceptable condition and suitable for freezing (e.g. as indicated by manufacturer’s instructions).


Photo Comment

2. Ensure the food is frozen all of the way through to the core


Photo Comment

3. Supply information relating to the food and its freezing to the receiving organisation – including information about when the product was frozen and instructions for defrosting and cooking.


Photo Comment

4. Re-label the food (see below).


Photo Comment

5. Demonstrate the date that the food was frozen.


Photo Comment

6. For food carrying a ‘Use By’ date, demonstrate that the freezing process commenced early enough to ensure that that the food is frozen by or before midnight of the day of the expiry of the ‘Use By’ date1.


Photo Comment
The Frozen Food Must Be Relabelled Because The Nature Of The Food Will Have Changed. You Must

1. Remove the original ‘Use By’ date (if the product had one) and apply a new ‘Best Before’ date


Photo Comment

2. Ensure a system is in place to record when the food was frozen as this will help demonstrate that the food is safe.


Photo Comment

3. Provide new / updated instructions for storage and use / cooking. Make sure these clearly show that food should be thawed under refrigeration and used within 24 hours.


Photo Comment

Is this sample what you are looking for?
Sign up to use & customise this template, or create your own custom checklist:

Checklist by GoAudits.com – Please note that this checklist is intended as an example. We do not guarantee compliance with the laws applicable to your territory or industry. You should seek professional advice to determine how this checklist should be adapted to your workplace or jurisdiction.

Seeing is Believing

Get a live demo customized to your unique needs, or get started with a 14-day FREE trial.