United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 01, 2024

§ 1685.
Service of traditional foods in public facilities
The purposes of this section are—
to provide access to traditional foods in food service programs;
to encourage increased consumption of traditional foods to decrease health disparities among Indians, particularly Alaska Natives; and
to provide alternative food options for food service programs.
In this section:
Alaska Native

The term “Alaska Native” means a person who is a member of any Native village, Village Corporation, or Regional Corporation (as those terms are defined in section 1602 of title 43).


The term “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

Food service program
The term “food service program” includes—
food service at residential child care facilities that have a license from an appropriate State agency;
any child nutrition program (as that term is defined in section 1769f(b) of title 42);
food service at hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities; and
senior meal programs.
Indian; Indian tribe

The terms “Indian” and “Indian tribe” have the meanings given those terms in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).1

 See References in Text note below.

Traditional food
In general

The term “traditional food” means food that has traditionally been prepared and consumed by an Indian tribe.

The term “traditional food” includes—
wild game meat;
marine mammals;
plants; and
Tribal organization

The term “tribal organization” has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).1

The Secretary and the Commissioner shall allow the donation to and serving of traditional food through food service programs at public facilities and nonprofit facilities, including facilities operated by Indian tribes and facilities operated by tribal organizations, that primarily serve Indians if the operator of the food service program—
ensures that the food is received whole, gutted, gilled, as quarters, or as a roast, without further processing;
makes a reasonable determination that—
the animal was not diseased;
the food was butchered, dressed, transported, and stored to prevent contamination, undesirable microbial growth, or deterioration; and
the food will not cause a significant health hazard or potential for human illness;
carries out any further preparation or processing of the food at a different time or in a different space from the preparation or processing of other food for the applicable program to prevent cross-contamination;
cleans and sanitizes food-contact surfaces of equipment and utensils after processing the traditional food;
labels donated traditional food with the name of the food;
stores the traditional food separately from other food for the applicable program, including through storage in a separate freezer or refrigerator or in a separate compartment or shelf in the freezer or refrigerator;
follows Federal, State, local, county, tribal, or other non-Federal law regarding the safe preparation and service of food in public or nonprofit facilities; and
follows other such criteria as established by the Secretary and Commissioner.
In general

The United States, an Indian tribe, a tribal organization, a State, a county or county equivalent, a local educational agency, and an entity or person authorized to facilitate the donation, storage, preparation, or serving of traditional food by the operator of a food service program shall not be liable in any civil action for any damage, injury, or death caused to any person by the donation to or storage, preparation, or serving of traditional foods through food service programs.

Rule of construction

Nothing in paragraph (1) alters any liability or other obligation of the United States under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 1450 et seq.).1

(Pub. L. 113–79, title IV, § 4033, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 818; Pub. L. 115–334, title IV, § 4203, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4656.)
cite as: 25 USC 1685