Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 51. Food and Drink
9/26/2022

§ 3.2-5144. Exemption from civil and criminal liability in certain cases.

A. As used in this section:

"Entity" means a farmer, processor, distributor, wholesaler, food service establishment, restaurant, or retailer of food, including a grocery, convenience, or other store selling food or food products.

"Food donor" means an individual or entity.

"Food organization" means a food bank or any Feeding America certified food bank or food bank member charity that is exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that maintains a food storage facility certified by the Department and, where required by ordinance, by the State Department of Health.

B. Any entity that donates food to any food organization for use or distribution by the organization shall be exempt from civil liability arising from any injury or death resulting from the nature, age, condition, or packaging of the donated food. The exemption of this section shall not apply if the injury or death directly results from the gross negligence or intentional act of the donor. If the donor is a food service establishment or a restaurant, such donor shall comply with the regulations of the Board of Health with respect to the safe preparation, handling, protection, and preservation of food, including necessary refrigeration or heating methods, pursuant to the provisions of § 35.1-14.

C. No food donor or food organization shall be criminally or civilly liable for donating or receiving food past the best-by date as long as all parties are informed and the food is labeled as not meeting all labeling and date requirements. The exemption of this section shall not apply if injury or death directly results from the gross negligence or intentional misconduct of the food donor or food organization.

D. Any farmer who gratuitously allows persons to enter upon his own land for purposes of removing any crops remaining in his fields following the harvesting thereof, shall be exempt from civil liability arising out of any injury or death resulting from the nature or condition of such land or the nature, age, or condition of any such crop. The exemption of this section shall not apply if the injury or death directly results from the gross negligence or intentional act of the farmer.

1980, c. 516, § 3.1-418.1; 1987, c. 322; 1990, cc. 211, 255, 303; 1998, c. 641; 2008, c. 860; 2022, c. 633.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.