How Safe is the Food at Farmers' Markets?

Oct 7, 2011, 8:44 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

Some farmers' markets are winding down as the weather changes and crops dwindle, but in some cities the markets continue year round. A new article by News21, an investigative reporting project at several journalism schools in the U.S., reports that chickens at farmers' markets in Washington, DC harbored bacteria that could harmful if the food were not properly cooked. The investigators also found that eggs were not kept refrigerated, as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With the growing popularity of farmers’ markets, the article can serve as a reminder to vendors to learn how to grow, store and sell their products under the safest conditions, but it’s also a reminder to consumers to follow FDA guidelines for food preparation at home. That won’t prevent all food-borne infections, but it can eliminate or reduce those bacteria that respond to safe handling during preparation and storage.

Read the article, and more on food safety.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.