Food safety best management practices for mobile farmers market operations

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Virginia Tech


There are over 200 farmers markets in the state of Virginia. They are regulated by local and state governments. They use the 2013 U.S. Food Code and Cottage Food Laws and regulations that work for farmers markets. How do you adapt these for mobile farmers markets? With more than a dozen mobile farmer markets operating in the state of Virginia, a standard should be applied when it comes to them handling raw agricultural products. How do we go about this when they are not considered the same as a brick and mortar farmers market, but rather regarded as a delivery service? Could we use the same regulations and practices used in governing brick and mortar markets to satisfy this niche? Due to them becoming wildly popular, it’s imperative that we find an applicable method to avoid any slipping through the cracks for this newer market. Ensuring, they fall under the same regulations as a brick and mortar market could also serve as a double-edged sword. Although, they have many similarities they also have vast differences. A conflict that comes into play are the transient properties of the mobile market which affect the temperature, amount of handling, and the possible introduction of foodborne illness. In this thesis I would like to explain why the need for mobile farmers markets arose and how coming up with best management practices can sustain it for years to come.