After the expiration date, food will also be allowed to be donated directly to the final consumer, and not only through charities, according to the regulations “Requirements for food distribution after the expiration date” developed by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and adopted by the government on Tuesday.

At present, food can only be donated to associations, foundations and religious organizations and their charitable organizations after the minimum expiry date. Allowing food to be donated directly to the final consumer will facilitate the redistribution of food surpluses and reduce its disposal in waste, explains the Ministry of Agriculture.

The regulations specify that food may be donated by any food business, whether for-profit or not, public or private, involved in any stage of food production, processing and distribution as defined in the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002.

It will be possible to donate food directly to the final consumer only if the donor provides a separate place for food distribution and complies with the requirements set by European regulations. If the donor or recipient delivers the food directly to the final consumer, this will ensure that the food to be donated is labeled with a special, clearly visible and indelible indication, such as “Donation”, “Charity”, etc.

The draft regulation also expands the range of organizations that will be able to receive food for donation, including also persons registered in the Register of Social Service Providers and municipal social services. Food will be allowed to be donated to long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions if the relevant food complies with the requirements specified in the annex to the regulations on nutritional norms for students of educational institutions, clients of social care and social rehabilitation institutions and patients of medical institutions.

The donor or recipient of the donation must ensure the traceability and storage conditions of the food to be donated in accordance with the information indicated on the label and that the food donated complies with the general safety requirements set out in EU regulations. The place of distribution of the food will have to indicate that the minimum shelf life indicated on the “Recommended by…” label has expired. It will not be possible to donate food for infants and young children after the expiry date.

The Annex to the Regulations has been supplemented with certain food groups that may be donated after the expiry date of the minimum period of validity specified in this Annex. If the recipient of the donation has not distributed the food to be donated within the specified period or the social service provider has not used it, it will be responsible for its destruction. The donor and the recipient will be able to decide on an individual and voluntary agreement with each long-term social care institution to receive such a food donation.

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