Farmers’ markets are more than fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of these additional products have separate regulations to govern their sales at farmers’ markets There are several regulations you should be aware of when selling at a Kentucky farmers’ market.
Registration with Kentucky Department of Agriculture The Kentucky Department of Agriculture registers markets each year and collects data. This registration allows the market to be an “official” farmers’ market. The registration is free, but must be done annually.
Kentucky Department of Agriculture Does Regulate…. Scales used for sales at the market. Sale of eggs
Scales Scales must be made for legal trade and for commercial use. A legal for trade scale will be marked with: A serial number A model number Class III designation on the ID plate NTEP certificate of conformance
Scales Scales suitable for farmers’ markets will have a ½ ounce or smaller It is the responsibility of the owner to have the scale inspected and maintain the accuracy Inspectors can shut down a vendor for using unapproved scales
Scales An alternative to using scales is to sell by volume. That is, by the bag or box or per item. If you do sell by volume you might want to get an approximate weight on your items so you can say that the bag of lettuce is “about 1 pound” if customers ask.
Eggs Should be washed and candled Use new cartons with nutritional info, refrigeration requirements and safe handling information printed on them Each carton should be labeled “ungraded” followed by “produced by (where you put your name and address) and “sold directly to the consumer.”
Eggs The eggs must be kept at or below 45 degrees at all times Do not leave eggs out on your table If you are using an ice chest, separate the eggs from the ice and from the melting ice in the bottom of the chest
The Department of Public Health regulates Prepared food items Minimally processed foods All value-added food products
HB 391 (Farmers’ Market Home Processing Legislation) This legislation allows producers to add value to their horticultural products in their home kitchens.
It is Farm Friendly Legislation Processors must Own or Lease at least 5 contiguous acres of farmland OR Be a Kentucky resident who has grown the primary horticultural or agronomic ingredients of the food product.
It is Farm Friendly Legislation Because… Final product must contain a Primary or Predominant Kentucky-Grown Ingredient grown, harvested, processed and marketed by the farmer
Foods can be sold from… 1. The Farm 2. Farmers Markets that are listed with Kentucky Department of Agriculture. 3. Roadside Stands Certified by Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Prohibited Locations Restaurants Grocery Stores Retail Markets Gift Shops Wholesale Sales Mail Order Sales Internet Sales Interstate Sales These require a Food Manufacturer’s Permit and use of a Permitted Kitchen.
There are two levels to this legislation Home-based Processor Home-based Microprocessor
Home-Based Processors Acceptable Products for Home-based Processors Whole fruit and vegetables Mixed-greens Jams, jellies, sorghum, preserves Fruit butter Fruit pies Bread, Cakes, & Cookies
Home-based Processors Must qualify as a farmer Must register with the state Must have potable water source No fee
Home-Based Microprocessors Some of the Acceptable Products for Home- based Microprocessors Salsa Barbecue Sauce Pickled Fruits or Vegetables Pressure-Canned Vegetables
Home-based Microprocessor Certification Requirements Qualify as a Farmer. Attend and successfully complete UK or Better Process Control School. Have standardized recipe for each processed food item approved by a qualified process authority. Submit verification of approved water source. Submit product labels to food branch for review. Complete application form with signature attesting that all microprocessing will be in compliance with the law. Yearly registration is $50. Additional fee for class and each recipe.
Prohibited Food Items for Either Level Potentially hazardous foods, including but not limited to …. 1. Cr è me filled pies, custard, custard pies, pies with meringue topping 2. Cheesecake 3. Cream, custard and meringue pastries 4. Raw seed sprouts 5. Garlic-in-oil mixtures 6. Foods vacuum packaged in containers other than mason-type jars 7. Canned, pureed baby foods 8. Any products containing meat
Home-based Processor/Microprocessor Food Labeling Name & Address of Operation Common Name of Food Product Ingredients, in Descending Order by Weight Net Weight & Volume Statement in 10 point type “This product is home-produced and processed.” Date product processed
Home-based Processor/Microprocessor Contacts Dr. Sandra S. Bastin, RD, LD Associate Extension Professor Food & Nutrition Specialist University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Mark M. Reed, RS, MPA Supervisor Food Manufacturing Program Kentucky Food Safety Branch extension 3677
If the product does not fall under the Home-based Processed/Microprocessed category, then it must be “commercially” processed. All vendors selling commercially produced items must have a prepackaged retail food store permit from the local health department.
Honey Has its own special legislation If you sell less than 150 gallons of honey a year you are not required to process the honey in a certified honey house Labeling is important
Honey Labels Identity of the product: HONEY Quantity of contents: i.e. one-pint jar =Net. Wt. 32 ounces (908 grams) Name of manufacturer: You or your farm Address of manufacturer: Your address
Organic There are two ways you can use this term – be certified or be registered You cannot say your products are “grown organically” or any other use of the word organic if you do not meet either of the criteria above
Meat All meat must be processed at USDA inspected facility Frozen meat must be kept at 0 degrees and fresh meat must be kept at 41 degrees or lower at all times Seller must have a prepackaged retail sales permit from the health department
Handwashing Stations Some levels of permits from the health department require you to have a way to properly wash your hands A simple handwashing station is easy to make
A simple handwash station is pictured below. The required liquid soap dispenser is not in the picture. Lots of water Spout that can be turned on and will run without someone holding it open. Roll of paper towels Extra water Catch basin for water as it flows over your hands
For some events at a market you will need a way to wash and sanitize utensils
Simple 3-Compartment Cleaning Station Soapy water – changed frequently Sanitizing rinse Clear rinse water – change frequently Soap Sanitizer tablets Paper towels
More information about each of these topics plus more is available in the “Kentucky Farmers’ Market Manual” The manual is available online at by clicking on “Farmers Markets” on the drop down menu. Printed copies can be obtained by calling (502)