Farmers markets guide, plus guidelines for navigating them safely
Before you plan your next trip to the farmer's market, please take note of the following guidelines to maintain your own safety and that of others (including the vendors).
- Do not visit the farmers' market if you are sick or a member of a high-risk group.
- Wear a mask or cloth face covering to protect both yourself and others.
- Do not shop in groups. It's best to send one person to the market to shop for your entire household.
- Make a shopping list to increase the speed and efficiency of your trip. As pleasant as it might seem, now is not the time to linger at the market. Write your list down on paper so that you can throw the list away after you are done shopping.
- Avoid using your cell phone at the market (this increases your safety by ensuring you are not transferring germs from the market onto your phone).
- Leave your pets at home.
- Always maintain a social distance of at least six feet while shopping and waiting in line.
- Follow instructions and rules set up by individual markets to maintain distancing and traffic flow.
- Do not touch produce. Most markets will likely require vendors to fulfill orders, so verbalize your request and they will pack up items for you.
- When exchanging money with a vendor, place money directly on the counter when paying rather than handing it to the vendor. Do not touch your face after a monetary transaction. Wash your hands as soon as possible.
- Be patient. Be kind. Relax and wait your turn.
Cleaning fruits & vegetables
When you return home with your produce, follow the FDA's guidelines for washing produce and fruit.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after handling fresh produce.
- To clean produce, rub gently while holding under plain running water (soap is not needed).
- Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce like melons, cucumbers and squash.
- Always rinse produce before peeling (to prevent dirt and bacteria from transferring from your knife to the fruit or vegetable flesh).
- Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
- Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage and discard them.
- Be sure to cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
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