Food Safety Summit

2024 Virginia Farmers Market Food Safety Summit

April 4, 9 & 11
9am 12pm EST

An online summit for market managers & food vendors covering the ins and outs of food safety requirements in Virginia

Food freshness, short supply chains and excellent traceability make farmers markets ideal venues for food safety. The pride and care market vendors take in preparing and selling their products draws shoppers to our markets. Following safe food handling and preparation practices helps keep them safe and coming back.

In Virginia, farmers market vendors who manufacture, process, pack or hold food for sale are subject to the Virginia Food and Drink Law and related regulations. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Food Safety Specialists, also known as inspectors, ensure that farmers markets are in compliance with these regulations. Food service vendors at farmers markets are permitted by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). ABC administers alcohol-related laws with an emphasis on public safety by ensuring an orderly and regulated system for convenient sales and responsible consumption of alcohol. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (VA ABC) administers alcohol-related laws with an emphasis on public safety. Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) provides helpful food safety publications and training.

During this Food Safety Summit, the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) will bring together representatives from VDACS, VDH, VA ABC and VCE to walk you through the requirements and answer your questions. These sessions will be recorded and shared with registrants.


VAFMA recommends that all farmers market managers & vendors attend the April 4th session + any sessions relevant to their markets/products.

April 4 (recommended for all to attend):

  • Market Food Safety – Virginia Department of Health – Whitney Wright, VDH
  • Market Food Safety – Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services – Pam Miles, Rashelly Bland & Karen Bergin, VDACS
  • Produce Safety – Erik Bungo & Kristina Banks, VDACS
  • Weights & Measures – Gary Milton, VDACS

April 9

  • Dairy  – Hunter Moyer, VDACS
  • CBD/Hemp – Lisa Ramsey, VDACS
  • Pet Food – Caroline Wilkinson, VDACS

April 11

  • Alcoholic Beverages – Virginia ABC – Marc Haalman
  • Food Safety Resources – Lester Schonberger and Melissa Wright, Virginia Cooperative Extension

Recordings will be available. Certificate of Participation will be available.

Woman selling pretzels at a stall.

2023 Recordings & Presentation Slides

The Virginia Farmers Market Food Safety Summit occurred March 17, 2023. We have segmented the presentations out below into individual recordings. Click on the links to view the presentation slides and recordings.

The recording links lead to our YouTube Channel. If you need lower resolution files, you can view those here.

We’ve compiled a list of resource links that were shared during the summit.

Speaker Contact Information Sheet

Virginia Department of Health Food Safety at Farmers Markets

Speaker: Peri Pearson, State Food Consultant

Presentation Slides


Links shared

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Food Safety 

Speakers: Pam Miles, Program Supervisor, Food Safety Program & Jessica Swearingen, Food Technical Specialist, Office of Dairy & Foods

Presentation Slides


Links shared

VDACS Office of Meat and Poultry Services

Speaker: Peyton Lee, Technical Resource Adviser, Office of Meat and Poultry Services

Presentation Slides


VDACS Dairy Services

Speaker: Hunter Moyer, Program Supervisor, Dairy Services Program

Presentation Slides


Links shared

VDACS Office of Weights and Measures

Speaker: Gary Milton, Program Manager, Office of Weights and Measures

Presentation Slides


VDACS Produce Safety

Speaker: Kristina Banks, Produce Safety Specialist Senior, Office of Dairy and Foods

Presentation Slides


Links shared

Hemp Requirements in Virginia

Speakers:   Meagan Musick, Technical Specialist,VDACS Food Safety Program

Erin Williams, Industrial Hemp Program Manager, VDACS

Meagan’s Presentation Slides

Erin’s Presentation Slides *****


****UPDATED Legislation: effective 7/1/23
Please read this memo regarding amendments to the Code of Virginia impacting hemp products that took effect on July 1, 2023

New Hemp Product Legislation Slides

For more information, visit VDACS’s hemp product enforcement webpage

Extension Resources for Farmers Markets

Speaker: H. Lester Schonberger, Ph.D. Associate Extension Specialist, Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech

Presentation Slides


Links Shared:

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course (Virtual Program)

Upcoming Grower Trainings

Virginia Cooperative Extension Offices

Virginia Cooperative Extension Programs

Publications and Resources

Resources for On-Farm Food Safety

Enhancing the Safety of Locally Grown Produce – Produce Growers/Farmers Market Produce Vendors (Virtual Program)

Overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule

Is my farm operation covered or exempt from the Produce Safety Rule?

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course (Virtual Program)

Produce Safety Worker Health, Hygiene and Training (Virtual Program)

Resources for Food Business

Going to Market

Food Producer Technical Assistance Network

Request for Analysis by the Food Producer Technical Assistance Network (formerly the Food Innovations Program) at Virginia Tech

Food & Health

Extension Master Gardener Program

Master Food Volunteer Program


We are working with VDACS, VDH and VCE to get answers to all of your questions.

View the Question & Answer Transcript from the Summit here to see the questions that have been answered.

Supporting Partners

Supporting Partners

Funding for this publication was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 21FMPPVA1084. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

Funding support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA NIFA award number: Grants 12843216) is acknowledged.