In 2015, the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) Conservation Committee created a best practices document for food management in collection-holding institutions. This paper discusses the three-step process, devised by the committee, through which this was achieved. The first step was to research existing literature on the subject. Scant results showed that a best practices document on the subject would be of great benefit to the field. The second step was to survey collection professionals. This provided the committee a stronger understanding of current food management challenges and successes, as well as topics to address in the best practices document. The third step was to gain consensus from these professionals. A draft of the document was presented at three international conferences, and feedback was incorporated into the final recommendations. The best practices document is available on the SPNHC wiki and may be updated. It is possible to write a best practice on any subject by replicating this three-step process. The Conservation Committee believes this process can be applied to other areas that are in need of new or revised preservation methods.

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Author notes

Associate Editor.—Christine Johnson