The dramatic growth of farmers markets throughout Vermont has sparked a heightened safety concern at the Department of Health. At the March 29 meeting of the vendors who participate in the summer farmers market sponsored by the Shelburne Business and Professional Association, a representative of the Health Department came to explain the new regulations. Sherry Sawyer, who is Senior Public Health Sanitarian with the Health Department, said the new regulations apply to the kitchens where food is prepared and the safe storage temperatures for that food before it is sold, as well as some requirements such as having hand-washing stations at their tents. Specific requirements are that the food be prepared in a licensed kitchen and be stored above 135 degrees or below 38 degrees.
“If at the May 26 opening market in Shelburne, you haven’t met the requirements, I won’t issue your license,” Sawyer said. “We have two months to work together to be sure we have a safe, healthy market in Shelburne.”
Market Manager Tod Whitaker said, “It’s only common sense to be sure we are keeping everyone safe.”