food safety icons

We’re giving a shout-out to the Open Source Food Safety Initiative launched last week by the Underground Food Collective and Sarapis.

Open Source is often applied to technology, as we’ve discussed in previous Field Notes. It’s a simple concept: sharing knowledge and/or tools publicly and improving them through continued development and feedback, adding the power of multiple perspectives.

As the initiative’s partners note, “Starting a new food business or processing venture can be daunting, especially considering the proprietary nature of food safety plans and research results necessary to making our food system safe.

The goal of the Open Source Food Safety Initiative is to make food safety information available to everyone. Building on concepts first developed by the Open Source Software movement, we aim to make food safety plans and information freely shareable, modifiable, and usable. This website is designed to serve as a forum for sharing, discussing, and collaborating on food safety information.”

This resource could save money for small and emerging producers – without cutting corners that affect food safety.  If you’re a producer, or if you work with producers, we encourage you to check out the HACCP plans and contribute to the project.

As the Madison Cap Times writes“Sharing information could be something that’s really useful for the food economy, for small producers,” said Jonny Hunter. “It’s in everyone’s best interest.” 

“The creation of the new forum lets producers publish their plans, comment on what others have come up with, and look at other resources on food safety. The website part of a broader movement to make software and other resources “open source” — free to the public to use, redistribute and modify.”

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