Have you ever not been able to finish your meal when dining out? Do you take your leftovers home?  I have never met a leftover I didn't like, but I know people who are like "Bleck! Leftovers, nasty!" So what happens to that food?

Is it possible, heck, is it legal for a New York State restaurant to take food that was on your plate, or on your table, but not eaten, and then sell it again? What happens to all that food anyway?

Hudson Valley Post logo
Get our free mobile app

Can a restaurant legally sell food that you didn't eat, but was on your table?


At times like this, post-pandemic, I can't imagine anyone doing this, but while it might happen, not just only in New York, but the entire world, it isn't legal here. Besides, gross. Here is one point, if you know you are not going to, say, eat the complimentary bread, don't let them even put it on your table.

So what happens to all the 'extra food' from a New York State restaurant?

Dutchess Co. Restaurant Gets Death Threats Over Popular Menu Item
Mill House Brewing Company

Believe it or not, NYS has been taking reducing restaurant food waste very seriously. In fact, they have implemented a few programs to help with it. Food scraps, ones that are scraped off a customer's plate or ones that are just not enough to make it to a plate can go into community recycling programs. NYS actually requires places now to recycle them Maximum extent practicable (SIC).

What about food that the restaurant can't use because they over-ordered and it's going to go bad if it isn't used?

Garbage Plate
T. Dickson

New York State has a program for that too. The program is for restaurants to be able to donate prepared food and then get a tax break incentive for doing so. One of the biggest programs known in our area is Panera Bread. At the end of the night, items that are remaining from the day are donated. This is just one example of what many restaurants are doing. Think about it, people and organizations that need food will have access to it. More info about the NYS Recycle and Donation Food Programs, click here, but heads up, it is a PDF. 

Love to have a great view and sit outside while dining? Here are a few places you might want to check out. 

4 Hudson Valley Restaurants With the Best Outdoor Dining Experience

Throughout the Hudson Valley, there are plenty of hotspots to sit back, relax and sip on your favorite drink while enjoying a tasty meal for an outdoor dining experience.

Let's take a look at some fan favorites.

Heading out to a restaurant to celebrate your birthday? Here are places that will give you freebies on your big day! 

12 Hudson Valley Restaurants with Birthday Deals

Here are 12 restaurants with deals you need to take advantage of for your next birthday.

You decide: Are these some of the best restaurants in the nation, but close to home? 

8 Hudson Valley Restaurants Recognized as Best in Nation

Eight restaurants in the Hudson Valley have been named best in the nation in the 2022 Wine Spectator Awards.

More From Hudson Valley Post