Purchasing fresh and local produce at farmers markets has seen an increasing trend over the past decade. However, with this rise in popularity food safety challenges need to be recognized and addressed. Farmers market managers play a significant role in ensuring that vendors implement food safety practices at the market. Thus, this study investigated the food safety perceptions of farmers markets managers and vendors in Texas and Arkansas. A total of 123 participants were surveyed, including 38 managers and 85 vendors. The survey included a series of questions to determine gaps in vendor and manager food safety knowledge as well as the barriers and factors that prevent the implementation of relevant food safety practices. The results indicate that a lack of facilities, equipment, and resources containing food safety guidelines specific to farmers markets were the major barriers to the implementation of food safety practices. In addition, only 36.7% of participants had formal food safety training (e.g., ServSafe) and approximately 50% of the market managers provided food safety materials to their vendors. Overall, these data suggest that the development of farmers market-specific training programs to enhance food safety behaviors and practices in farmers markets would be beneficial to stakeholders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Health(social science)
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science