Arlington has seven wonderful farmers markets. View a map of all the farmers markets.
All vendors selling perishable foods at farmers markets must receive a Farmers Market License from the Arlington County Public Health Division.
In order to prevent food borne illness, Arlington adopted the 2013 FDA Food Code. The Food Code provides a science-based technical and legal basis for regulating the food industry. The Public Health Division (PHD) uses the Food Code during inspections to ensure safe food handling practices. Environmental Health Specialists (EHS) perform routine and complaint-based inspections at all food establishments, including farmers markets. EHS staff:
- Receive extensive, standardized training about the FDA food code
- Perform unannounced inspections one to four times a year, depending on the establishment
- Work with establishments to help ensure that food is safe
Information for Vendors
- Perishable foods must be packaged, wrapped or otherwise protected from direct handling and contamination.
- Perishable foods must be kept cold (41ºF or less using ice or mechanical refrigeration); frozen products must stay frozen.
- All cooking and food preparation must occur off-site at an approved operation or licensed facility.
- All food, including food ingredients, must come from an approved source.
- Product ingredient lists must be displayed to consumers.
- Food handlers must not work when sick (e.g., fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, jaundice, or open cuts on hands).
Inspections at farmers markets are performed to check to see if food is safe for sale. These inspections include checking for proper:
- Temperature control for perishable foods such as meats, cheeses, and products made with eggs.
- NOTE: Any vendor selling perishable foods must have a permit.
- Packaging or covering for ready-to-eat (RTE) foods to prevent bare hand contact and other contamination.
- RTE foods, such as baked goods, typically are not washed or cooked after purchase.
- Ingredient lists to warn people with food allergies.
Become a SNAP Retail Merchant
Increasingly Farmers Market vendors are accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as a payment for products. This can be a win-win-win situation as it gives you direct access to new customers, gives SNAP recipients access to healthy food, and encourages consumption of locally grown produce. The following link will provide information on how the steps needed before you can accept SNAP: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/ebt/fm.htm