Enhancing the Safety of Value Added Foods at Farmers’ Markets

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Virginia Tech

Farmers’ markets are increasing in popularity and becoming central community focal points, providing produce, baked goods, and value-added foods items such as hummus and guacamole, as well as jams and jellies. Farmers’ markets often have an eclectic mix of consumers; toddlers to senior citizens. For both public health and economic reasons, food safety at farmers’ markets is a central issue to be researched and addressed. A foodborne illness or outbreak traced back to a farmers’ market and or a particular vendor could have huge financial implications, and potential health consequences. As part of a larger education outreach, Enhancing the Safety of Value Added Foods at Farmers’ Markets and research initiative four additional fact sheets were created on high moisture refrigerated foods, jams and jellies, maple syrup and fermented vegetables. These sheets are designed for use by Extension professionals, farmers’ market managers and vendors, consumers or the interested entrepreneur. It is our hope that combining these fact sheets with other educational tools and programs, food safety knowledge will increase followed by adoption of food safety best practices. Vendors, as well as market managers, will feel equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to create and continue to build a successful farmers’ market.