Safe delivery and service of donated food requires responsible communication among all parties handling the food (donor, transporter and receiving agency), including monitoring and appropriately handling temperature and packaging requirements as well as limiting the time out of temperature controls. With a basic understanding of food safety and good judgment, food donors, transporters and recipients can ensure that donated food is kept safe for consumption. So, to become a runner
-Watch the Food Safety videos
-Read the Food Safety Review
-Review food safety scenarios
When you go to the ChowMatch Web Application, you will begin the sign up process and receive a confirmation email.
In the ChowMatch web application, you will be required to indicate you have read the liability waiver (there is a link to the waiver so you can read it, then return to ChowMatch and check the box indicating you read/agree to terms). Then, take the short multiple choice quiz you will find on your account page and score 80% or better. The quiz may be repeated as needed. When completed, you are ready to receive food run requests and can download the mobile app! The Mobile App will allow you to see available food runs and claim them. When a run is available, you will receive an email that contains information about the donor and recipient organization. Once you ‘claim’ the run, you will receive another more detailed email with instructions, including name, address, the item(s) type you are picking up. – examples are found later on this page.
Food Safety Videos
Email and Mobile App notifications
When a DONOR schedules a food run in the application ChowMatch, they complete a section indicating the type FOOD TYPE being donated. At left is a screenshot of the section the DONOR completes:
Looking at the image on the far left, the FOOD TYPE section shows on email and on the Mobile App. The FOOD TYPE helps the Food Runner to determine what might be needed on the run, such as ice packs, cooler…and if the contents of the run are TCS thus delivery should occur within an hour. If the item is TCS, the food runner should expect the DONOR to be ready with a Tracking Form and thermometer and temp the food in front of the Food Runner. If there is confusion or uncertainty of the process, please give me a call. If your time does not permit, leave the donated food with the DONOR and call me when it is convenient for you. The bottom line is that we want to leave the food safely with the DONOR if forms and temp recording is not ready or possible.
The SUMMARY SECTION shows on email and on the Mobile App. This section displays what the DONOR is giving – the items and quantity of foods being donated. This section allows the recipient organization know what food types and quantity to expect and the food runner to have an idea of the size of the donation.
The FOOD TYPE section has 3 possibilities – trays, boxes and meals or pounds (lbs). The software converts the selection (trays, boxes) to pounds (lbs) in order to make matches. Trays are equivalent to 10 lbs and boxes are equivalent to 40lbs. Keep the weight equivalent in mind when picking up your delivery – this will help you gauge the size of the delivery. This is how the system aggregates all data to report out foods that would otherwise make it to the landfill and provides a consistent mechanism for reporting.
When you download the ChowMatch app for your phone, you can see scheduled food runs and accept food runs. Should you have to cancel a run you have already accepted, please contact us ASAP, so the run can be re-opened for someone to claim. Denise: 309-256-8697 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Safety Review
GFRSafetyGuidelines Prepared_Fresh F_V 3_17 – this is a downloadable comprehensive document approved by TCHD, PCCHS and WCHD for your review. Below is the same information, but sectioned out the pieces relating to Food Runners.
Transporter Personal Hygiene
- If sick, do not recover food.
- Wear clean clothes and closed-toed non-slip shoes.
- Remove jewelry.
- Pull long hair up and/or wear a hat/hairnet.
- Wear a waterproof bandage if you have a cut.
- Wear single use gloves whenever handling food directly.
- Wash hands and exposed arms up to your elbows with warm water and soap before handling food (review the hand washing video).
- Wash hands again if you do any of the following: use the restroom, smoke, touch your hair, face, clothes or body, handle raw meat or eggs, eat or drink or use cleaning chemicals (review the hand washing video).
- Gloves should be worn whenever you come in contact with foods that won’t be processed before eating like whole fruit. Wash your hands before applying gloves (review the hand washing video).
- Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum near exposed food.
- Protect food from contamination from sources such as chemicals, staples, insects, water drippage, dirty equipment, etc.
- Keep your vehicle clean of excessive dirt, insects, animals, and any other potential contaminants while transporting food. It is a good idea to have a sheet, tarp or carry-all container that you lay in trunk or back seat before transporting any donated food.
To help assure safe transportation of donated food,
- Use safe, nonabsorbent, leak proof pans or reusable containers
- Never put pans containing food on the ground.
- Use thermal bags / blankets or coolers (with ice packs for cold foods) to maintain hot or cold temperature of food; do not mix hot and cold food in the same carrier. While the training videos show a thermal type bag used for transportation of Time and Temperature Controlled (TCS) perishable food, we have yet to find a sturdy, appropriate sized bag that will stand up to repeated use and is not cost prohibitive. We suggest purchasing a thermal blanket. It can be used to protect the food and your vehicle and help to maintain temperature of TCS foods. This model comes with a drawstring carrying bag that will roll us and take up little to no space in your vehicle
- Use a clean transport vehicle; food should be isolated and nowhere near cleaning supplies, other chemicals, dirty clothes, trash, etc.
TCS (Temperature Control for Safety) food requires time and temperature controls to prevent the growth of microorganisms and the production of toxins. These foods contain moisture and protein. The time and temperature controls keep TCS foods safe for consumption.
Donations consisting of whole produce, dry grocery items, baked goods and other similar products can be delivered anytime with no requirement for temperature controls or delivery times.
For TCS foods including frozen foods, hot or cold prepared foods, and fresh meat, seafood and dairy the following considerations must be made:
- The Donor should check temperature when the Food Runner receives the food, using a clean and sanitized thermometer or if product is removed from a walk in refrigerator or freezer, record the temperature on the outside of the refrigerator or freezer on the Food Donation Tracking Form . If food is inside the Food Temperature Danger Zone (between 41˚F and 135˚F) it must not be accepted by the Food Runner. As a Food Runner, simply record the temperature on the Food Donation Tracking Form.
- TCS foods must not be out of temperature controls for more than a total of 4 hours (including time during cooling, storage, transport and service). Whenever possible, TCS foods should be maintained below 41 ̊F or above 135 ̊ while in transport to the venue.
- Any TCS food out of temperature controls for more than 4 total hours must be discarded. For this reason, food runners should avoid making any non-Good Food Recovery related stops while on a food run.
- Hot food must be received by hot meal service or recipient organizations that have been pre-approved to chill food properly. All hot food must be donated at a temperature of 135°F or above and served immediately upon donation. Hot food out of temperature controls for any amount of time under 4 hours must be reheated to 165 ̊F before service. Discard food if it has been below 135˚F for more than 4 hours.
- Cold food must be received and held at a temperature of 41°F or below.
- The temperature of TCS foods are tracked before and after transportation, and the amount of time between locations. The Food Donation Tracking Form is used to document that proper food handling procedures were followed at every stage. Completed forms should remain with the food recipient agency for a minimum of 90 DAYS in the event that any donated food needs to be traced back through the system. It is the responsibility of the Donor organization to have these forms on hand.
Perishable Food Labels
As a food runner, you should only take donated prepared foods with a label.
All donated prepared food must be labeled with
-the name of the food
-indicate any potential allergens by circling the potential allergen on the label (milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybean)
-“use by” dates
-instructions to “Reheat quickly to internal temperature of 165˚F or above”
-donor name and contact information.
Whole (uncut, unpeeled) fruit and vegetables and Grocery (dry goods, non-perishables) items do not require time/temperature control and thus do not need a food label affixed. Most non-perishables will be donated in their original container.
Food Safety Scenarios
The following scenario helps to illustrate the types of food that could be donated and the time/temperature control guidelines for each.
A Caterer has several hotel pans full of food left over from breakfast service that they would like to donate. They have used the Good Food Recovery Mobile App to locate an appropriate recipient who will be there to pick up in 30 minutes. They are reviewing their time and temperature log to determine which of the following items are safe to donate:
One of the pans is missing a single scoop of scrambled eggs which was served by the catering company staff to a latecomer for breakfast. It has been sitting in a chafing dish with a lit Sterno® and held at a temperature of 140˚F for the last 2 hours. Can this food be donated? No. Any food that has been offered to the public is unsuitable for donation regardless of time or temperature considerations.
A second pan containing sausage links has not been served from at all. It is still covered in saran wrap and aluminum foil. It has been on the serving line for an hour and held at a temperature of 120˚F. Can this food be donated? Yes. This food can be donated as long as it is transported and reheated to 165˚F within the next 3 hours or chilled to 41˚F or below within 2 hours. Once chilled properly it can be stored at 41˚F or below for up to 7 days.
The hash browns in the third pan never made it out of the kitchen and have been held in a warming oven at 135˚F since they were brought to the conference hall 3 hours ago. Can this food be donated? Yes. This food can be donated hot if served immediately or if cooled properly by the commercial food service establishment or pre-approved recipient organization. This food should be stored at 41˚F or below prior to donation.
A basket of bagels was sitting on the table next to the coffee for the entirety of the breakfast service (7am-11am). Some are pre-sliced and others are whole. Can this food be donated? No. These bagels have been offered to the public and are not suitable for donation.
Several unopened milk cartons were held on ice during the service. Can this food be donated? Yes. This milk can be donated as long as it at a temperature of 41˚F or lower at the time of donation. The temperature of one container should be taken to ensure proper temperature. Note: if there was no attempt at temperature control (i.e. no ice) the milk must be discarded.
A bowl of fruit that patrons were serving themselves from. Can this food be donated? No. Food that has been offered to the public is not suitable for donation.
A bowl of fruit that was never served and stored at 40˚F all morning. Can this food be donated? Yes, provided it can be chilled to 40F or below within 4 hours from the time it was taken out of refrigeration.
A bowl of fruit that was never served but sitting out at room temperature for under 4 hours. Can this food be donated? Yes.
21306 Illinois Route 9
Tremont, IL 61568
309-477-2223 x 288
Eric Lane, B.S., L.E.H.P.
1831 S. Main Street
Eureka, IL 61530
309-467-3064 x 4706
Carey A. Panier, BS, LEHP, REHS/RS
Assistant Director of Environmental Health
2116 N. Sheridan Road
Peoria, Illinois 61604
The gitm Foundation
Good Food Recovery Administrator
4200 E. Washington Street, Suite B
East Peoria, Il 61611