Food Safety Resources for Food Hubs

Food hubs & FSMA


The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a federal law enacted in 2011, contains seven sections which apply to different areas of the food supply chain. The section most likely to pertain to food hubs applies to facilities that manufacture, pack, and/or hold human food, and is called the “Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food” or Preventive Controls Rule. Under the Preventive Controls Rule, there are different types of compliance status. Based on a facility’s operations and characteristics, it might be Exempt, Qualified, Fully Subject, a “Very Small Business”, a Secondary-Activities Farm or a “Farm Mixed-Type Facility”.

In this series of webinars, Dr. Erin DiCaprio, Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension in Community Food Safety at the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology, will discuss:

  • How to determine your food hub’s status under the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule
  • How to meet the requirements if your food hub is a Qualified facility
  • How to meet the requirement if your food hub is Fully Covered 

 

Overview/review of FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rule

What is my food hub’s status and what does it mean?

Presentation Slides

My food hub is eligible for a Qualified Exemption

What do I need to do to be in compliance with FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule?

Presentation Slides

Audio only

Video

Requirements for a food hub that is fully covered under the Preventive Controls Rule

Presentation Slides

Audio only

Video

 

 

Sample Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a set of step-by-step instructions for how to carry out operational tasks within a food facility. Following and documenting appropriate SOPs can play an important role in controlling risks related to food safety.

While there is no prescribed format for SOPs and how they are written, it is recommended that they encompass nine core elements:

  1. The purpose of the task – why,
  2. To whom the instructions apply,
  3. When (how often) the task must be completed,
  4. What is needed to carry out the task,
  5. How task must be carried out,
  6. Steps taken to ensure the task is carried out according to the instructions,
  7. What will happen if the instructions are NOT followed or if they are found to be ineffective in accomplishing the purpose of the task,
  8. How implementation of any revisions or corrections to the procedures will be confirmed to be effective,
  9. How all of the above will be documented and made accessible.

In 2021, a team of educators at UC SAREP and UC Davis department of Food Science & Technology developed a series of example SOPs inspired by the operations of food hubs. These SOPs 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. To create an SOP for a topic different than those listed below, you may download and use this blank Word template.

SOP Title

Link to File

 

Allergen Control

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Basic Employee Hygiene

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Cleaning Transport Vehicle

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Cooler Storage & Temperature Monitoring

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Facility/Warehouse Cleaning

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Handwashing

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Pest Control

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Preparing a Chlorine Sanitizing Solution

Note: The Produce Safety Alliance has compiled a list of sanitizing solutions available for purchase. Be sure to pay attention to the label use (i.e. Labeled for Use on Non-Porous Food Contact Surfaces vs. Labeled for Use in Fruit and Vegetable Wash Water). Information from the Produce Safety Alliance website is below:

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Product Aggregation/Packing

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Product Receiving

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Restroom Cleaning

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

Blank SOP Template

ENGLISH

ESPAÑOL

 

Other SOP resources

 

 

Sample food safety plans


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. 

Safety Plan Type Link to file  
Model food safety plan v1 – NO allergens, NO packing of individual boxes ENGLISH SPANISH (coming soon)
Model food safety plan v2 – NO allergens, packing of individual boxes   ENGLISH SPANISH (coming soon)

 

 

Sample flow diagrams


Flow Diagram: Breaking Boxes Link to File
Flow Diagram: Aggregation Only Link to File