New Rules Limit Inspections At Farmer's Market

New Rules Limit Inspections At Farmer's Market

When you think of the farmer's market you normally think of tables filled with fruits, vegetables and canned goods.

But in September, the state will enforce new rules at farmer's market and one of the changes will allow vendors to sell meat, chicken and much more.

"Anything that can be raised at a farm could be brought with the exception of pasteurized milk," said Susan Morris, Wichita County Public Health District's Environmental Administrator.

Cashing in on more products is good news for farmers but health officials said the new rules limit the amount of control the public health district will have over what vendors can do with food at the market.

"We take seriously our job and the health and safety of this community and it's just really hard to sit back and look at something and not be able to do anything about it," said Morris.

Instead of preparing food at farmer's market, vendors will be able to prepare products from the comfort of their own farm. That's a place health inspectors won't be able to get to.

"You don't know if people have pets in their home when they're preparing the food. You don't know the type of conditions they're doing it in. You don't know if they're following the proper temperatures," said the health official.

Now vendors who prepare samples at the market have to buy a food handling training certification card from the public health district but the new law say they won't have to anymore.

Morris said, "Food can be very dangerous. We do inspections all the time and we find violations in permitted facilities and they know we're going to inspect them.but if you have an entity and their given rules and you know they're not going to be inspected, what's the incentive to follow the rules."

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6