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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 12: Court Procedure

Chapter 197: Good Samaritan Law for Donations of Food

  • § 5761. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) “Perishable foods” means any food that may spoil or otherwise become unfit for human consumption because of its nature, type, or physical condition. Perishable food includes fresh or processed meats, wild game, fish, poultry, seafood, dairy products, bakery products, eggs in the shell, fresh fruits or vegetables, and foods that have been packaged, refrigerated, or frozen.

    (2) “Canned foods” means any canned food that has been hermetically sealed and commercially processed and prepared for human consumption, including canned or preserved fruits, vegetables, or other articles of food. There is specifically excluded for purposes of this section canned goods that are rusted, leaking, swollen, or canned goods that are defective or cannot be otherwise offered for sale to members of the general public.

    (3) “Farm products” means any agricultural, dairy, or horticultural product, or any product designed or intended for human consumption or prepared principally from an agricultural, dairy, or horticultural product.

    (4) “Charitable or nonprofit organization” means any organization which is exempt from federal or State income taxation, except that the term does not include organizations which sell or offer to sell such donated items of food. (Added 1983, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1997, No. 36, § 1.)

  • § 5762. Liability for canned or perishable foods or farm products distributed free of charge

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a good-faith donor of any canned or perishable food or farm product, apparently fit for human consumption, who donates to a person for consumption, or to a bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization for free distribution, shall not be subject to criminal penalty or civil damages arising from the condition of the food, if the donor reasonably inspects the food at the time of donation and finds the food apparently fit for human consumption and unless the donor has actual or constructive knowledge that the food is adulterated, tainted, contaminated, or harmful to the health or well-being of the person consuming the food.

    (b) This section includes the good-faith donation of canned or perishable food or farm products not readily marketable due to appearance, freshness, grade, surplus, or other considerations, but shall not be deemed or construed to restrict the authority of any lawful agency to otherwise regulate or ban the use of such food for human consumption. (Added 1983, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.).)