Food Safety Resources for Managers and Vendors of Farmers Markets in Texas
Farmers markets have grown exponentially in the past two decades; however, there is an increasing need to ensure that fresh produce and other ready-to-eat food commodities sold directly to consumers are safe and free of microbial contamination. Therefore, it is crucial to equip managers and vendors at farmers markets with food safety materials that are engaging and educational. The objective of this study was to survey market managers and vendors to identify food safety educational needs and current food safety practices. Observational studies were conducted at 10 farmers markets (300 vendors) in Houston, Texas, to identify positive and high-risk practices. Based on the results obtained, educational materials in the form of videos and information sheets were developed and disseminated to managers and vendors at Texas farmers markets. Feedback on the educational materials obtained from stakeholders was positive and 88% of market managers and vendors stated that the food safety materials were effective as an educational tool.
Speaker / Author:
Hillary E. Norwood, MS, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston
Jack A. Neal, PhD, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston
Sujata A. Sirsat, PhD, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston