Food Safety Summit

Virginia Farmers Market
Food Safety Summit

March 17, 2023; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

A webinar 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). 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 and VCE to walk you through the requirements and answer your questions. Join us to make sure you are up-to-date on the state’s regulations.

Speakers will include:

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • Pam Miles, Program Supervisor, Food Safety Program
  • Jessica Swearingen, Food Technical Specialist, Office of Dairy & Foods
  • Peyton Lee, Technical Resource Adviser, Office of Meat and Poultry Services
  • Hunter Moyer, Program Supervisor, Dairy Services Program
  • Gary Milton, Program Manager, Office of Weights and Measures
  • Erik Bungo, Program Supervisor, Produce Safety Program
  • Meagan Musick, Food Technical Specialist (Hemp, CBD)
  • Erin Williams, Industrial Hemp Program Manager

Virginia Department of Health

  • Peri Pearson, State Food Consultant

Virginia Cooperative Extension

  • Lester Schonberger, Senior Research Associate, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech

Sample Questions to Be Addressed:

  • What are producer permits?
  • When is a food inspection required?
  • How do I obtain an inspection?
  • What products are exempt from inspection?
  • How do I verify that products are eligible for sale if they are not listed on an issued inspection certificate?
  • What are the rules for selling hemp and CBD products at farmers markets?
  • What are the rules for labeling, sampling and packaging?
  • What are the rules for online markets vs in person markets?
  • What are the rules for bringing dogs to the market?
  • What do I need to know about selling pet food?
  • Can we have a petting zoo at the market?
  • Can we sell live chickens or rabbits at the market?
  • What is involved with meat and poultry inspections?
  • What are the small batch chicken exemption requirements?

Do you have questions about farmers market food safety requirements in Virginia that you want answered during the program? Contact us.

This VAFMA program is free and will be recorded. Registration is required to attend and to receive all presentation recordings and supporting materials.

Free Registration


Supporting Partners

Funding for this project 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.

Supporting Partners