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 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

Sharing away from your home kitchen

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, ALL items must be shared from your home address using “no-contact” pickups.

Can I share items immediately after collecting them?

After collecting items from a business, you have up to 2 hours to transport them home. During this time, you can try to distribute them through the app if you have permission at an indoor location such as a community centre, office etc. You cannot distribute items near to the business you collected from or from an outdoor public space like a train station.

 I don’t want to share my home address, can I distribute items from somewhere else?

Although OLIO is focused on growing local communities, we totally understand some FWHs will not want to share their home address. Don’t worry, you can share food from a convenient place near your home as long as it is transported in a chill/ cool bag. This is because temperature-controlled (hot or cold) food that has been transported home, chilled and stored in your fridge, cannot be taken out of the chill-chain again. If no handwashing facilities are available at your chosen location, please use hand sanitiser and/ or tongs when handling unsealed items.

Can I deliver/take surplus items to others with me the following day?

Only if food has not been requested and you are concerned that the food will go to waste.In this case, you could  deliver/ take surplus items to a homeless shelter or to share at work within the time restraints explained above. You will need to make sure items are requested in the app and given directly to the requester - don’t leave items in a communal space. As above, if you’re sharing temperature-controlled food, this will be a second period outside of the fridge, therefore, a chill/cool bag is essential.

Remember, all of the FWH food safety training materials are available on the Volunteer Hub.