Requirements for Farmers Markets

Products Eligible for Sale at a Farmers Market

The following products may be sold at a farmers market to consumer customers without being licensed as a food establishment at the market location:

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables which are whole and uncut
  2. Bakery products that are not potentially hazardous. These products include only the following items: breads, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, buns, rolls, cookies, biscuits, and pies (except meat pies). The following products are examples of bakery products that are potentially hazardous and cannot be sold at farmers market without a license: soft pies, custard filled products and cream filled products.
  3. Fresh shell eggs that are kept at 45 F or below (ambient temperature)
  4. Honey
  5. Non-potentially hazardous food products; that is products that do not require refrigeration, since they are shelf-stable. These products can be prepared in the home, to be sold for consumption off-the-premise. Some examples of products that can be prepared in the home for direct sale to consumer customers include: jams, jellies and dried noodles.

Products Requiring Licensing

The following products may not be sold at a farmers market without appropriate licensing from local, state or federal authorities:

  1. Potentially hazardous food products, which include meat, poultry, dairy products
  2. With the sole exception of jams and jellies, no “home style” canned goods can be sold at farmers markets, since food in a hermetically sealed container shall be obtained from a licensed food processing plant. (Section 3-201.12 of the Food Code which has been adopted by Section 137F.2 of the Code of Iowa)

What type of licenses are honored to sell potentially hazardous foods at a Farmers Market?

  1. Farmer’s market potentially hazardous food license.
    a. A separate license is required for each county in which a vendor sells food.
    b. The license is only valid at farmers markets.
    c. If the vendor has operates two or more stands simultaneously, a separate license is required for each unit.
  2. Mobile food license
  3. Canned goods, except jams and jellies, must be from a licensing food processing plant.

Labeling Requirements

All food must be labeled with the common name of the food and the name and address of the person who prepared the food.

Allergen information needs to be declared on the label or by the use of a placard. The following food products are considered major allergens: Peanuts, Soybeans (not refined soybean oil), Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustacean (crab, lobster or shrimp), Tree Nuts (almonds, pecans or walnuts) & Wheat.

Food that is prepared in licensed food establishments or food processing plants must be labeled with the following information:

  1. Product name
  2. A list of ingredients in order of predominance (by weight). If the product has a standard of identity in the Code of Federal Regulations, it must conform to that standard.
  3. Name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor. Unless the name given is the actual manufacturer, it must be accompanied by a phrase which states the product is: "manufactured for" or "distributed by."
  4. Net weight or volume.
  5. Allergen information.