Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

745 ILCS 50/3

Summary Title

Liability: Donation of Food


An individual who, in good faith, donates food to a charitable organization will not be held legally responsible for damages incurred due to the food. They can be held legally responsible if acting with extreme carelessness or intent to cause harm.

Full Title

Donor's immunity from liability

Full Text

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), no wild game donor, farmer, food producer, processor, distributor, wholesaler, retailer, gleaner of food, any other person (if that other person donates food that has been inspected by either a State or federal authority and has not been altered after that inspection), a not for profit corporation or charitable organization whose members provide baked goods that are not potentially hazardous, or donor of day old bread, who in good faith donates perishable canned or farm food items, prepared food, day old bread, or wild game to a not for profit corporation or charitable organization for distribution to nursing homes, needy, or poor persons shall be liable in any civil action based on the theory of warranty, negligence or strict liability in tort, for damages incurred resulting from any illness or disease contracted by the ultimate users or recipients of the food due to the nature, age, condition, or packaging of the food. (a-5) The immunity provided under subsection (a) shall apply to any person or organization that prepares and serves, for specific events, wild game that has not specifically been raised, harvested, dressed, or inspected for human consumption in accordance with existing rules and regulations of the U.S. or State Departments of Agriculture or any other state or federal agencies empowered to enforce health and safety requirements. Placards shall be displayed in a conspicuous location throughout the event identifying the food served as uninspected wild game. (b) The immunity provided in subsection (a) shall not apply where the following is shown: (1) that the illness or disease resulted from the willful, wanton, or reckless acts of the donor; or (2) that the donor had actual or constructive knowledge that the food was tainted, contaminated, or harmful to the health or well-being of the recipient of such donated food; or (3) where the food was in the form of canned goods, that the containers were rusted, leaky, swollen, or otherwise defective to the extent that they could not be sold to members of the general public; provided, however, that the fact that the cans were simply dented does not, in itself, constitute such a defect so as to preclude the grant of immunity provided by subsection (a).