Farmers' Markets

Public Health inspects food vendors at farmers’ markets. This page has information for farmers’ market organizers and vendors.   

Farmers’ Market Organizers

Farmers’ market organizers have the following responsibilities:

  1. Contact public health 60 days before the opening of a farmers’ market by emailing or calling 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4753. 
  2. Have each food vendor complete the Farmers’ Market Food Vendor Application Form

Farmers’ Market Food Vendors

Farmers’ market food vendors have the following responsibilities:

  1. At least 30 days prior to selling food at a farmers’ market, submit a Farmers’ Market Food Vendor Application Form prior to selling food at a farmers’ market. 
  2. Review and follow the instructions in the fact sheet Farmers Market Food Vendors Fact Sheet. (PDF, 1 page, 150 KB). 
  3. Ensure that all foods served, displayed or offered for sale come from an inspected facility (see below for Farmers’ Market Exemptions.) 
  4. A certified food handler is required if there is any on-site food handling (Exceptions may apply for farmers market exempt from the Food Premise Regulation). 
Safe food handling requirements
  • All food products are to be protected from contamination during transportation, display, and sale.   
  • All hazardous foods are required to be transported and held cold (4°C or less) or hot (60°C or higher)  
  • Thermometers are required to verify the temperature of hazardous foods.  
  • Any food handling or preparation taking place at the market stall will require a handwashing station.   
Food sampling requirements
  • All food products are required to be protected from contamination (e.g.  food grade wrap, lids, sneeze guards).   
  • Use utensils such as tongs and serving spoons to serve food into individual sample size portions.   
  • Food samples should be provided in single servings using single service utensils (paper cup, napkin etc.).   
  • A garbage receptacle should be available for service utensil disposal.   
  • Customers should not be able to touch other food samples.   
Display requirements
  • All foods are required to be protected from contamination.   
  • For hazardous foods, a refrigerated display case or display case that can hold crushed ice is required.   
    • If using ice, food must be immersed in the ice.   
    • If using freezer packs, food must be fully surrounded.  
  • Indicating thermometers are required to be packed in the units to verify temperature control.   
Labelling requirements
  • All processed foods must have appropriate labelling as per the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Products only sold at the market (not retail) are exempt from some of these labelling requirements, but still must have the following information on the product:  
    • Common Name  
    • Business Name & Contact   
    • Net Quantity (metric units) (where applicable)  
    • Ingredient List
    • Specific safe handling instructions, storage, expiry/best before date, or allergy alerts
Prohibited food products
  • Ungraded eggs and used egg cartons (proof of grading required). 
  • Unpasteurized dairy products 
  • Meats that have not been provincially or federally inspected (receipts required).  
  • Unlabeled Products 
  • Food or drink prepared, processed, or handled in a private residence (Exceptions may apply for farmers market exempt from the Food Premise Regulation)

Exempt farmers’ markets

If at least 51% of the food vendors at a market are farm product producers and sell their own products, the market is exempt from Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17

Applicable farm products: produce, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and seeds, local wine, honey, maple syrup 

Non-applicable farm products: non-edible items (flowers), craft beer 

Exempt vendors are not exempt from the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Local Farmers’ Markets

  • Aberfoyle Farmers Market 
  • Elora Farmers Market  
  • Erin Farmers Market 
  • Guelph Farmers Market 
  • Mapleton Farmers Market 
  • Minto Farmers Market 
  • Orangeville Farmers Market 
  • Rockwood Farmers Market 
  • Shelburne Farmers Market 
  • Wellington North Farmers Market