How do I know the food is safe?

  • Food shared from a domestic kitchen

    Food safety is extremely important to take into account when sharing surplus food and both the person giving the food and the person picking the food up should always take the following into account:

    • Our #1 guideline is ”Good enough for you": only add food that you would be willing to eat yourself.” Any person giving away food must not give away food they believe is unsafe to eat.
    • Any person requesting food is responsible for asking the questions that give them the comfort that food is safe to eat. Some things to take into consideration are:
      • If homemade, what are the ingredients?
      • If opened, when was it opened and how has it been stored?
      • If allergens are a concern, which allergens are present in the food?
      • Do not collect and eat food if you are worried that it’s unsafe to eat
    • Please read Section B (relevant to people giving) and Section C (relevant to people requesting) in our T&Cs thoroughly if you have any further concerns.

    Food donated by businesses


    OLIO volunteers (Food Waste Heroes) collect surplus food such as freshly prepared salads, sandwiches, pastries and packaged products from local businesses and caterers.

    • Food Waste Hero volunteers are trained in food safety. We’ve developed a robust and easy-to-apply Food Safety Management System (FSMS) that all FWHs adhere to. It’s easy to use yet sophisticated enough to ensure all types of food are distributed in a safe way. Our FSMS, which we created with input from the Food Standards Agency, is approved by our Primary Authority and based on a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points study.
    • Click here for an overview on how Food Safety is ensured by volunteers on OLIO.
    • Packaged food donated from businesses should be fully labelled.
    • Some food will not be fully labelled but will still have the name on the packaging. Requesters can cross reference the food with allergen information here https://olioex.com/allergens/ (also linked out from the bottom of volunteer listings)


    If you have any concerns about the safety of food supplied by anyone using OLIO, please report the item using the flag in the top right of the app or by clicking report within the messages section of the app