Key LBOH Functions

The four key functions LBOH have to ensure that farmers markets comply with 590 are:

  1. Monitoring farmers markets
  2. Reviewing permit applications
  3. Conducting inspections and issuing permits
  4. Taking further enforcement action (if necessary)

Each function will be described in more detail below.

1. Monitoring Farmers Markets

Not all farmers market vendors or managers will contact their LBOH, so you may have to identity or find farmers markets in your community in order to ensure compliance with 590.

 

Are you aware of farmers markets in your community?
If not, how can you find out about them?


Farmers markets may require other municipal licenses or permits, so check with other agencies (building, fire, police, schools, parks) for a list of farmers markets they've permitted. Be aware of flyers, banners, newspaper and radio advertisements, and web postings advertising local events (call organizers to gather more information if necessary). Contact the local visitor's association or chamber of commerce and check websites (like Mass.gov) that list farmers market locations.

 

2. Reviewing Permit Applications

You must review all application materials. You can request additional information if needed.

Even though some farmers markets are organized by a single entity or manager, permits should be issued to individual vendors. One farmers market may have multiple permits. LBOH may charge reasonable fees for permits.

 

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3. Conducting Inspections and Issuing Permits

If an application is approved, you should schedule and conduct a pre-opening inspection. If the vendor appears to be in compliance with 590, a permit should be issued. Additional inspections should be conducted according to the frequency outlined in 590.

The activity box below describes seven key food safety parameters that should be considered as part of the permit application review. These parameters should be monitored during an inspection, along with other 590 standards.

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Raw Produce Tips

The FDA provides tips for selecting and serving raw produce safely. The chart below outlines key responsibilities of producers, growers, vendors, and regulators to ensure farmers markets provide safe food products.

 

Producers and Growers

Should use good agricultural practices (GAP) and consider:

  • Irrigation and wash water quality
  • Manure management
  • Worker health and hygiene
  • Sanitary facilities
  • Field equipment and packing house sanitation

Farmers Market Vendors

Should use GAP, or purchase from producers or growers who use GAP and:

  • Use potable water to wash produce
  • Prevent contamination of produce by chemicals, pesticides, infected workers, or dirty equipment
  • Refrigerate or ice products as necessary (i.e,. cut melons, sprouts)
  • Comply with 590

LBOH

Should assess farmers markets in the community, and:

  • Provide safe food handling information to vendors and consumers
  • Permit and inspect farmers markets and vendors, as required by 590
  • Collaborate with farmers market associations if possible

 

4. Taking Further Enforcement Action (if necessary)

Based on application review or inspection findings, you may have to take action to achieve compliance with 590.

These actions might include:

  1. Prohibiting unsafe food-handling operations and/or the sale of certain food items
  2. Verifying variances with or without a HACCP plan
  3. Pursuing other enforcement actions according to 590
    • Immediate (i.e., embargo or summary suspension/emergency closure)
    • Longer term (i.e., suspension with notice, revocations with notice)