Charitable Feeding Operations

On January 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 2178 California Retail Food Code (CRFC): Limited Service Charitable Feeding Operation (LSCFO) went into effect. The bill amended the California Retail Food Code (CRFC) to provide regulatory flexibility for LSCFOs to serve wholesome food to those who are food insecure, with a primary focus on food safety. It provides for varying levels of food service requirements, including a registration option for LSCFOs conducting minimal food service activities.

Summary of food service options for LSCFOs and associated requirements:


Food Service Type
Registration
or  Permit

Requirements
100% Pre-packaged, non-perishable food  storage/distribution Exempt Follow safe food practices for the storage and distribution of pre-packaged food items.
100% Pre-packaged perishable food  storage/distribution, distributed under the purview of a permitted food bank Exempt These operations fall under the permit of the associated food bank. Follow food bank best management practices.
100% Pre-packaged perishable food storage/distribution not associated with a permitted food bank

Registration with DEH


Submit proof of non-profit status
Ex. 501c3 with application

Completion of a Limited Service Charitable Feeding Operation Registration Application. Compliance with Best Management Practices approved by DEHQ. Annual payment of registration fees.
Heating (and reheating for hot holding), portioning, or assembly of small volume commercially prepared foods, whole, uncut produce

Registration with DEH

Submit proof of non-profit status 
Ex. 501c3 with application

Completion of a Limited Service Charitable Feeding Operation Registration Application. Compliance with Best Management Practices approved by DEHQ. Annual payment of registration fees.
Food preparation not included in the list above.

Must obtain approval from DEHQ Plan Check

Next, apply for a 
DEHQ Health Permit

Meet CRFC requirements for a retail food facility. Complete the plan check process and obtain an annual health permit.

The County of San Diego supports the Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative. It promotes a robust and resilient local food system that builds healthy communities, supports the economy and enhances the environment. On December 12, 2018 the County Board of Supervisors approved waiving the fees associated with registering or obtaining a health permit for charitable feeding organizations.  This means that the Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) will not be charging a fee for any charitable feeding organizations that need to register or obtain a health permit.

As the holidays near, if you are looking to volunteer or if you or someone you know is in need of food, please visit the San Diego Food Bank webpage for a schedule of food distributions taking place this month. Lists are organized according to program.


Questions?:

  (858) 505-6803

  DEHFoodSafety@sdcounty.ca.gov