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

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax
jo@listserv.ksu.edu

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Food Safety at Farmers Markets: What to look for

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Summer is my favorite food season. Just about everything is ripe and ready for enjoyment. Plus, it’s easier to eat healthier in the summertime. Thanks to the warm weather, the idea of baking desserts or heating up a calorie-laden casserole is just revolting. In summer, I want crisp salads, spicy salsas, fresh fruit and grilled meat.

Getting great food is also easier in the summer thanks in large part to farmer’s markets. These markets are an excellent opportunity to visit with local farmers and learn more about your food. Plus, it’s more fun than shopping at the grocery store. But whether purchasing food inside a store or outside at a market, consumers should be aware of good food safety practices to ensure the products’ quality and safeness is maintained.

Here are some tips to look for:

Fresh produce
  • Should be clean, look fresh, no cuts or nicks
  • Displayed off the ground/floor
Cut or peeled produce 
  • Displayed on/ surrounded by ice
  • Look fresh and cold
Meats, eggs, cheeses
  • Package must feel cold; product in cooler/ on ice
  • Eggs- carton and eggs should be clean, not cracked, and cool
Milk 
  • Must be pasteurized (Kansas regulation) – ask vendor to confirm
Juice, cider
  • Pasteurized is safest
Hot prepared foods 
  • Would like to see vendor using thermometer
  • Should have a lid, see steam rising from pan
Handwashing
  • Seeing vendors washing their hands
  • See a handwashing station in booth (particularly prepared foods)
Booth, personal cleanliness
  • Surfaces of booth, knives, other utensils clean
  • Clean clothes, hands, no wiping nose, etc.
Certifications
  • Look for any posted food safety certifications/ trainings attended
All products
  • Ask vendors about their food safety practices

Contact Us

Crystal Futrell
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
crystal.futrell@jocogov.org