HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding reminded residents that farm markets must adhere guidelines just as other businesses that are set to open in the state.
Recommendations include ways to stay open while minimizing contact for shoppers and employees.
Some guidelines include:
- Offer delivery or pick up options and online or phone ordering if possible.
- Pre-package bags of fruit, vegetables, and other items to limit shoppers’ handling food and keep customers moving quickly.
- Offer designated times for high-risk and elderly persons to shop at least once a week.
- Communicate with consumers via website or social media to explain changes, delivery options, or other extra precautions to mitigate against COVID-19.
- Separate stands to limit crowds and consider limiting the number of customers in the market at one time.
- If possible, have a different person handle products and handle money, or wash hands and sanitize between tasks.
- Remove tablecloths and eliminate samples and eating areas.
The guidance offers farmers the opportunity to hold “on-farm” stands to sell raw produce, eggs and shelfable food such as jams, jellies and baked goods without a food safety license.
“This pandemic does not limit our need for food. In fact, it’s quite the opposite,” Redding said. “So let’s remember where that food comes from, and make intentional choices to directly support local farmers. Pennsylvania’s farmers markets and farm stands offer the essentials you need and they’re working harder than ever to provide a safe, reliable service.”
You can find a farm market near you at pafarm.com