Food hubs that are fully covered by the FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule are required to have a food safety plan in place. While a written food safety plan isn’t a legal requirement for others, it’s always a good idea to have a shared document describing a food hub’s operations and how potential risks of food contamination are managed.
In 2021, a team of educators at UC SAREP and UC Davis department of Food Science & Technology developed two sample food safety plans inspired by the operations of food hubs in California. Both are designed for food hubs that do not handle allergens (nuts, dairy, etc.) in their facility. One is applicable to an operation that is involved in “breaking” boxes: disaggregating and recombining product into individual boxes, such as for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or consumer box program. The other is applicable to an operation that receives and delivers intact boxes without handling the contents. Both model food safety plans are for guidance and educational purposes only. They are intended as a starting point to be adapted to a food hub’s specific operations and practices, and it is unlikely that they can be adopted by a facility without at least some modifications.