1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »Johnson County
  4. »Health and Nutrition
  5. »Articles
  6. »Shopping Safely at Farmers Markets

Johnson County

Research-based Information You Can Trust — Localized for your needs

Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

Map to our office

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Shopping Safely at Farmers Markets

As summer comes into full bloom and fears about the pandemic subside, one can almost hear the county breathe in a mask-filtered breath of relief. But, staying cautiously alert while resuming “normal” activities is still advised especially in locales that tend to attract a crowd—like farmers markets.  

Discoveries are still being made about the mechanics of the COVID-19 virus, but one assured assessment has been that the primary method of transition is through close person-to-person interaction. Unfortunately, this interaction is one of the charms folks love most about shopping at farmers markets. For this season, at least, it is a charm worth resisting for the sake of each other’s health—and for the sake of the markets. While markets were deemed essential businesses during the lockdown since they were sources of food, not all markets chose to operate, and those that did made drastic adjustments to manage the spread of infection.  

To protect both ourselves and the communal organizations and traditions we love, farmers market attendees should keep these tips in mind:

  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others
  • Call the market ahead of time to see which vendors and items will be available
  • Make a list of items you need to limit your exposure
  • Avoid touching your face and cellphone while at the market and before washing your hands at home
  • Look for and follow entrance and movement guidelines established by the markets
  • Be aware that some markets have a special shopping hour for seniors
  • Choose items with your eyes, not your hands
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water when you get home
  • Wash your produce with water only before consuming
  • Avoid using cash, if possible
  • Resist the temptation to socialize


Also, don’t forget to look for these food safety tips, too:

  • Fresh produce should be displayed off the ground/floor and be clean, look fresh and have no cuts or nicks
  • Cut or peeled produce should be displayed on/surround by ice and look fresh and cold
  • Meats, cheeses should be displayed on ice or stored in a cooler
  • Eggs should be uncracked and in a clean carton displayed on ice or stored in a cooler
  • Milk must be pasteurized (Kansas regulation), and the vendor should be able to confirm this
  • Juice and cider that has been pasteurized is the safest to consume
  • Vendors preparing hot foods should be using a food thermometer
  • Vendors should be washing their hands regularly especially if they’re preparing foods/samples
  • Booths should be clean and vendors should exhibit good hygiene (clean clothes and hands, no nose wiping, etc.)
Back to Agent Articles

Contact Us

Family and Consumer Sciences Agent