SB1383: Imperial County Edible Food Recovery Initiative

SB 1383: Mandatory Edible Food Recovery Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2022, the requirements of SB 1383 went into effect.

Senate Bill 1383, statewide organic waste regulations, became effective January 1, 2022, in California. Edible food recovery requirements are being implemented in Imperial County under the Edible Food Recovery Ordinance, currently in effect in all Imperial County cities.  You can find your city's ordinance on their pertaining websites. The ordinance requires certain businesses to donate their leftover edible food to a food bank or food pantry instead of disposing of it in the garbage.

Edible food is defined as food that is safe for human consumption. This is food that is intended for people to eat, including food that is not solid because of appearance, age, freshness, grade, surplus, etc. Edible food includes, but is not limited to, prepared foods, packaged foods, and produce. All edible food must meet the food safety requirements of the California Retail Food Code. SB 1383 includes goals to get more edible food, which would have otherwise been landfilled, to humans for consumption.

SB 1383 regulates two “tiers” of commercial businesses that generate edible food and require edible food recovery.  Beginning January 1, 2022, Tier 1 generators must arrange for the recovery of surplus edible food by establishing a contract or written agreement with a food recovery organization(s) or service. Beginning January 1, 2024, Tier 2 generators will be required to do the same. Please see the chart below for a description of the types of businesses that fall under the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories.

Food recovery means collecting edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to feed people in need. This is the highest and best use for food that would otherwise go to waste.

Mandatory Edible Food Recovery Requirements 

To reduce food waste and help address food insecurity, SB 1383 requires the State of California to recover, redistribute, or donate 20 percent of edible food that would have otherwise been sent to landfills by 2025. 

  • Jurisdictions must establish edible food recovery outreach and inspection programs, help connect certain edible food generators with food recovery organizations and services, and ensure there is sufficient county-wide capacity for all the recovered edible food.

  • Certain edible food generators (Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses) must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills. They must establish contracts with food recovery organizations and services that will accept their edible food and keep records of all edible food donated.

  • Food recovery organizations and services that work with edible food generators must maintain and submit records of the donated edible food collected.

It's safe to donate! The Good Samaritan Donation Act of AB 1219 helps protect food donors from liability. Businesses are legally protected from criminal and civil liability when food is donated to non-profit or charitable organizations in good faith using standard, safe food handling procedures.

Tier 1 Commercial Edible Food Generators:

  • Supermarkets with over $2 million or more in annual gross sales

  • Grocery stores with a total facility size equal to or greater than 10,000 square feet

  • Food service providers

  • Food distributors

  • Wholesale food vendors

SB 1383 edible food recovery enforcement for Tier 2 businesses begins January 1, 2022. 

Tier 2 Commercial Edible Food Generators:

  • Restaurants with 250 or more seats, or a total facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet

  • Hotels with an on-site food facility and 200 or more rooms

  • Health facilities with an on-site food facility and 100 or more beds

  • Large venues

  • Large events

  • State agencies with a cafeteria with 250 or more seats or total cafeteria facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet

  • Local education agency facilities with an on-site food facility

Feeding hungry people with donations of extra food is an integral part of resource conservation. Organizations served by food rescue and food bank programs include community centers, soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, senior programs, and childcare centers.

  • The Imperial Valley Food Bank is an organization that collects food from a variety of sources and distributes it to hungry people through local service agencies.

Check out your localities websites for more information on their Edible Food Recovery programs and executed Edible Food Recovery ordinances.

City of Brawley, City of Calexico, City of Calipatria, City of El Centro, City of Holtville, City of Imperial, City of Westmorland, County of Imperial

How to comply as a business that falls under the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories:

Tier 1 and Tier 2 Businesses

  1. View more information and guidelines as a food donor (e.g., resources) at

  2. Implement an edible food recovery program

    • It applies to large food-generating businesses only (Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses).

  3. Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses will be required to contract with an edible food recovery organization or service to track the recovery of otherwise disposed edible food. Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses are required to recover the maximum amount possible of surplus edible food generated. See the below list of local edible food recovery organizations:

Imperial Valley Food Bank

Food Bank


  • A contract or written agreement must be maintained between the Tier 1 or Tier 2 business and the food recovery organization(s) or service(s) to pick up or receive edible food. The state agency CalRecycle developed a Model Food Recovery and Donation Agreement which may help define the services and expectations between Tier 1 or Tier 2 businesses and the food recovery organization(s) or service(s).

  • Businesses will also be required to keep a record of all types of food donated, the quantity (pounds) donated, the frequency of donations, and contact information for the Food Recovery Organization(s) you partner with. These records are subject to review.