Date: May 21, 2019

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Farmers' Markets

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 9:55 AM

A Farmers' Market is a central location where groups of people who operate stalls or other food premises gather to sell to consumers products that include farm products, baked goods, preserved food, etc.

Farmers' markets are exempt from the requirements of the Food Premises Regulation as long as they comply with the requirements under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This means they are still required to operate in a safe manner. For example, the sale of uninspected meat, unpasteurized milk, or ungraded eggs is not permitted.

To qualify for the exemption, the Farmers' Market must have 51% of its vendors selling their own farm grown, raised or produced products.

Public health inspectors will assess whether Farmers' Markets qualify for the exemption status and will assess that no health hazards exist.

If the Farmers' Market is not exempt, its food vendors must comply with the requirements of the Food Premises Regulation.

Whether or not a Farmers' Market is exempt, its vendors must comply with the following:

  • Farmers' Market vendors must continue to ensure food is manufactured, processed, prepared, stored, handled, displayed, distributed, transported, sold or offered for sale in a manner that ensures the product is not a health hazard.
  • Public health inspectors have a duty and responsibility to assess, and where necessary, to prevent, reduce, or eliminate health hazards under the HPPA.
  • It is still against the law to sell uninspected meats, unpasteurized milk and ungraded eggs.

Resources:

ASPHIO - Common Approaches for Farmers' Markets and Exempted Special Events
MOHLTC - Food Safety Matters at Farmers' Markets (VIDEO)