Montgomery County Health Department workers are visiting farmers’ markets throughout the county, helping market operators and vendors fill out license applications and learn the rules for washing hands and keeping products cool.
Picnic-style coolers with ice are acceptable in some cases, rather than more expensive refrigerators. Farmers selling uncut fruits and vegetables can sell them without a license, and they can cut samples, but if they sell watermelon slices or fruit salad, for example, they need a license. Vendors participating in more than one market can operate with a “mobilized vendor” license if they have the same setup and sell the same products at each site, but if they sell different products they need separate licenses. The Health Department Director, Doctor Joseph DiMino, says they are not trying to be overly restrictive, but they are trying to ensure food safety.