Sharing food safely

Share safely ⚠️

Please note that safe sharing guidelines are currently subject to COVID-19 restrictions.


Some collections involve specific food safety instructions with stricter time limits and extra rules for hot food. Specific rules should be followed in addition to these general guidelines:

  • Once temperature-controlled (hot or cold) food has been transported home and stored in your fridge (within 2 hours of collection), it must remain chilled until it's handed to the receiver. Any further transport must be in a chill/cool bag.
  • If you don’t want to disclose your address, meet somewhere in your neighbourhood in a well-lit environment and a chill/cool bag must be used to transport any chilled food.
  • If no handwashing facilities are available, please use hand sanitiser and/ or tongs when handling unsealed items (pastries, baked goods or anything that can't be washed!).
  • When food is stored at home, it must be stored in your kitchen, never on the floor and away from pets and children.  
  • A fridge thermometer must be used to ensure your fridge is below 8°C - Purchase one here.
  • Don't collect or share food if you or anyone in your household is ill as this could transmit to someone requesting food - please find cover by pausing or skipping your collection slot via the Volunteer Hub.
  • Food must be distributed directly to the final consumer and not be left unsupervised outside your house or left in communal areas for people to help themselves.
'Use by & 'best before' 📅
  • Food must not be listed, requested or shared past the 'use by' date. Please ensure that such items are listed for the correct amount of time by selecting the appropriate time frame under “List for” when adding your listing.
  • Ambient food with ‘best before’ date can be shared beyond that date.
  • Chilled food with a ‘best before’ date can be shared after the date but must still be shared within 24 hours of collection.
  • If a specific collection slot has stricter timing rules in place, these should always be followed first, for example when distributing hot food.
  • Please post a photo of your listing 📸 with the Use By clearly visible, unless your business doesn't have Use-by dates, or requires you to use a stock image.
  • There mustn't be any listings, or even pick-ups arranged, for items that have passed their Use By dates. This is an extremely important and is a legal, health and safety requirement which must not be overlooked - to protect our amazing community of OLIOers.


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