Do Food Vendors Selling Food at Special Events and Farmers’ Markets Have to Meet Any Specific Food Safety Requirements?
Although food vendors sell or serve food for limited time periods, temporary food set ups can be challenging because they operate in the open air and often do not have water and power available. Food still needs to be kept at safe temperatures and protected from contamination. All food vendors are required to notify the Health Unit that they are attending these venues and provide information on how they will be preparing and handling food.
What Requirements Do I Need to Meet If I Am Organizing a Special Event or I Am a Food Vendor at the Event?
All food vendors are required to notify the Health Unit of their intent to operate a booth at a farmers market. The following Compliance Checklist for Vendors is to be used in conjunction with A Guide to Understanding the Farmers Market Vendor Health Inspection Report. Submission of this completed form will serve as notification to the Health Unit.
Most food vendors are not exempt from the Ontario Food Premises Regulation. The following resources have been developed to help you handle food safely at special events:
- Special Events Guidelines and Food Vendor Application & Checklist
- Special Events Food Vendor Application & Checklist
- Requirements for Groups Exempt from the Food Premises Regulation
- Food Safety Guidelines for Temporary Food Concession Stands Operating at One Day Events
- Making Your School BBQ Safe
What Requirements Do I Need to Meet If I Am a Vendor at a Farmers’ Market?
If the farmers’ market you attend meets the definition of a farmers market you are exempt from the Ontario Food Premises Regulation; however you are still required to meet basic food safety requirements including:
- Protecting food from contamination
- Keeping food at safe temperatures
- Providing a handwashing station
- Selling products that meet regulatory requirements
- Labelling value added food products
The following resources outline ways you can meet food safety requirements:
- Farmers’ Markets Ontario – Food Safety Guide
- Food Safety Guidelines for Farmers Markets
- Food Safety Matters at Farmers’ Markets
- What You Should Know If You are Home Canning
- A Guide to Understanding the Farmers’ Market Vendor Health Inspection Report
- Farmers’ Market Vendor Health Inspection Report Form
Church Groups and Service Clubs
What Requirements Do I Need to Meet If I Am Holding a Church Supper or a Food Event Organized by a Service Club?
Church groups and service clubs have been given an exemption from the Ontario Food Premises Regulation. However serving safe food at your event is still important because you do not want to make your guests sick. In order to obtain the exemption, you need to do the following:
- Notify the Health Unit of your event
- Keep a list of all those donating food
- Post a sign indicating that the event is not inspected by the Health Unit