Food Safety Tips for Farmer’s Markets

Food safety is getting more attention than ever – and with good reason. Fifteen years ago, most people would not have been able to pronounce the microbe ‘Salmonella’, let alone discuss it in everyday conversation. Outbreaks at home and abroad have raised the public’s concerns about food safety. That means that consumers are far more conscious of how food is produced and handled.

Customers pay attention to such things as:

– The way you prepare and display your food
– The personal hygiene of you and your employees,
– The way you construct and keep your stand clean

If people see things they don’t like, in most cases they won’t tell you. They simply won’t come back. So what should you do? Make sure you and your employees know how to handle and display food properly.

Two simple tips for food safety at farmers’ markets
1. Keep hands clean
Ensure that all employees who handle produce are aware of why and when they need to wash their hands. For example: after going to the washroom or after touching their face, animals, money or any other surface that could contaminate their hands.
If a petting zoo is present at farmers markets, ensure that customers and employees do not touch the pets and then handle food without washing their hands in between. Be sure to post hand-washing signs.

2. Use proper containers
Display produce in clean containers. Ensure that containers do not permit access to pests. For example, do not place produce directly on the ground.
Remember: food safety is everyone’s responsibility. Effective food safety programs allow your business to be competitive, and provide save, high quality products for consumers. Make sure you take the proper steps to protect people’s safety – before you sell produce to Ontario families.

Food Safety Certification Seminar

CanadaGAP is a food safety program for companies that produce and handle fruits and vegetables.  All produce utilizing the FOOD HUB will require food safety certification to ensure trace-ability and safe food procedures.  The South Central Ontario Region (SCOR EDC) Food Hub is partnering with OMAF to offer CanadaGAP food safety training.  This training will be offered by Colleen Haskins, On-farm Food Safety Program Lead.

Cost to register is $25.00   Register by June 20th by email to:  do@scorregion.com        Space is limited!

When:  Friday June 27, 2014   9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Where:  SCOR EDC Office,  4 Elm Street, Tillsonburg, ON