Food Safety & Permitting for Food Hubs

“Food safety is super important in the local foodshed,
because if someone gets sick from our food,
we’re going to know them, they’re going to be our neighbors.”
-Minnesota Farmers Market Association

Food safety is truly everyone’s business—farmers, value-added food producers, food hub managers and workers, and consumers. Everyone in the food system needs to work collaboratively, not only to keep our food safe, but also our food systems operating and communities fed.

Your first stop for Food Safety Questions should be: the Alaska State Division of Environmental Health FOOD SAFETY & SANITATION PROGRAM

The Food Safety & Sanitation Program’s mission is “to protect public health at regulated food, seafood, and public facilities. Our vision is to collaboratively work with these facilities to prevent illness, injury, and loss of life caused by unsafe sanitary practices.”

Contact: Main Line: 907-269-7501; Report Foodborne Illness: 907-764-9825

If you are operating in Anchorage, visit the Anchorage Health Department Food Safety & Sanitation Program

Here are some examples of permits/ licenses that may be required of you or your food hub vendors:
Cottage Food Variance:

Online food hubs in Alaska are now eligible for a variance that legally allows the sell of cottage food products online.

As part of the cottage food variance in Alaska, food hubs agree that all vendors of cottage foods label their products with more details than is required in the Alaska Food Code exemption for cottage foods. This labeling allows the consumers to make informed decisions about the food without a face-to-face meeting with the individual producer or vendor, and facilitates traceback of the food item if there is a complaint or illness associated with the food. Labeling is also an excellent way for a food vendor to market their food. Food hubs must train their vendors to follow appropriate labeling procedures. Cottage food producers participating in a food hub online marketplace or other food hub venue must label their products with the following from the State of Alaska Food Code 18 AAC 31.012

  • a full list of ingredients, 
  • the date the product, 
  • an Alaska Business License number orthe name, physical address, and telephone number of the individual who prepared the food, and
  • the statement “THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO STATE INSPECTION” (unless produced in an approved or permitted establishment).
Learn more:

Continue to these sections for more Food Hub safety considerations:

Timely information, tips, and templates to build your market organization