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Int J Environ Health Res. 2004 Apr;14(2):109-19.

An assessment of food hygiene and safety at farmers' markets.

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Food Reserach and Consultancy Unit, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK.


Farmers' markets are becoming a more significant part of the food-retailing sector. A survey of farmers' markets was conducted to assess aspects of food hygiene and safety. The views of the public using the markets were also examined. The range of farm products was wide and the methods utilised varied. The markets were usually temporary outdoor events with few facilities. Traders had received elementary food hygiene training and rated their hygiene standards highly. Less than half had risk management procedures in place, most did not perceive their produce as high-risk. They believed consumers to be mainly interested in food quality and to regard food safety issues highly. Consumers shopped at the markets because of the quality of the products sold. Their overall satisfaction with the markets was high and they raised no concerns about food safety. Given the restricted facilities at farmers' markets and the early phase of implementation of hygiene management systems by market traders, it may be precautionary to restrict the sale of farm products at farmers markets to those that are regarded as low-risk.

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