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Farmers' Markets and Special Events

If you want to host a special event or farmers' market, or attend an event or market as a food vendor, you need to submit a form to Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) and make sure that you meet food safety guidelines. 

Farmers' Market

At the start of each season, we assess all farmers' markets in the area to see if they are exempt under Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 493/17: Food Premises. A farmers' market is exempt if the majority (51%) of the vendors at the market are selling their own farm products.

As a market organizer, you need to provide each vendor with the Farmers' Market Food Vendor Form. Review the Farmers' Market Organizer Information Package for more information about hazardous and non-hazardous foods.

Review the Farmers' Market Food Vendor Information Package for details about the form and vendor requirements. As a vendor, you need to make sure that:

  • All food offered for sale is not a health hazard
  • All meat is inspected, all eggs graded and all milk is pasteurized

Reducing food-related risks

Some foods sold at farmers' markets are potentially hazardous. You can reduce the risk of hazards by following these guidelines.

For canned foods:

  • Use new jars or bottles and lids
  • Get all foods from approved sources (meat and eggs)
  • Use only current, tested home-canning recipes
  • Test the pH level for each batch to make sure the pH is less than 4.6
  • Keep production and process records for two years

For meat, poultry and mixed meat products:

  • Store cold foods at or below 4 degrees Celsius
  • Store hot food at or above 60 degrees Celsius
  • Cook to safe cooking temperatures
  • Transport at proper temperatures
  • Make sure the product is from an approved source

Special Events

As an event coordinator, you will need to:

  • Request each food vendor submit a Special Event Food Vendor Form
  • Let us know about any changes to your form
  • Provide a safe water supply to all food vendors
  • Arrange garbage disposal at a designated site
  • Provide sanitary facilities and handwashing stations
  • Arrange for sanitary disposal of liquid waste if sanitary sewers are not available

Please contact us for more information.

To prepare for the event, you need to:

  • Submit a Special Event Food Vendor Form
  • Let us know about any changes to your application
  • Arrange for a safe water supply to your food booth
  • Arrange adequate garbage disposal
  • Provide a permanent or temporary handwashing station in a convenient location with soap and water
  • Arrange for sanitary disposal of liquid waste if sanitary sewers are not available
  • Ensure that general food safety practices are followed

Create a temporary handwashing station

You can create a temporary handwashing station at your site if it is not provided. You will need the following items:

  • A spigot that can stay open while both hands are being washed
  • A bucket placed underneath to catch the wastewater
  • Liquid soap in a pump dispenser
  • Paper towels

Event vendor checklist

You will need the following items at the event:

  • Probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of hot and cold foods
  • Alcohol swabs to sanitize the probe thermometer between uses
  • Thermometer for each cooler or refrigerator
  • Platforms to store food and paper goods off the ground
  • Clean containers to store food
  • Plastic wrap or aluminum foil to protect food
  • Adequate supply of utensils
  • Cloths to clean and sanitize equipment and surfaces
  • Adequate supply of potable (safe) drinking water
  • Leak proof containers
  • Ice container and ice scoop (if using)
  • Detergent/bleach solution
  • Liquid soap
  • Hairnets, hat, hair tie
  • Large plastic garbage bags

Review our safe food handling tips to learn more about handling food.

An exemption from the O. Reg. 493/17 applies to religious organizations, service clubs, and fraternal organizations that prepare and serve meals for special events or conduct bake sales.

This exemption applies if the exempt group is holding a special event to which the public is invited, where food is made in private homes that are not inspected by the health unit.

To learn more, view the fact sheet Exemption from the Ontario Food Premises Regulation for Special Events [PDF].

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