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H.R. 3444: Food Recovery Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 27, 2017.


Food Recovery Act of 2017

This bill provides funding and establishes requirements to reduce food waste and standardize date labeling on food.

The bill authorizes grants or loans for activities related to:

raising awareness about wasted food and food recovery efforts to reduce the quantity of wasted food, reducing food waste at schools and farms, and installing facilities that include composting or anaerobic digesters that use food or crop waste to produce energy. The bill provides funds for: (1) state storage and distribution costs under the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and (2) national media campaigns to decrease food waste.

The bill also:

establishes a Food Recovery Liaison within the Department of Agriculture (USDA), specifies that composting is eligible for support under USDA's conservation programs, expands the tax deduction for charitable contributions to include contributions of food inventory for nonprofit retail sales, expands the liability protections for the donation of food, and requires companies that receive federal food service contracts to donate surplus food to nonprofit organizations that assist food-insecure people.

The bill requires date labels on food packaging to include the phrases "best if used by" to indicate food quality and "use by" to warn of food that may be unsafe to eat after a specified date.

Labelers may include a quality date on packaging, but must include a safety date on ready-to-eat products. No one may prohibit the sale, donation, or use of a product based on passage of the quality date of the product.