Farmers Market Permits & Information
If a vendor intends to sample or prepare whole portions of their food items, that vendor must obtain a farmers market permit. This farmers market permit is valid for 1 calendar year and has a permit fee of $157.00. This permit fee is prorated based on when the vendor submits the application and payment to obtain the permit during the calendar year or the "season" of their crop/produce. Permitted vendors will receive 2 routine unannounced inspections for the duration of their permit. All unannounced inspections will be filed and uploaded to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department website. This farmers market permit is specific to farmers markets in Greene County. Preparing food at temporary food events outside of the farmers market will require a temporary food permit.
If vendors do not intend to prepare samples or whole portions of food at the market, and only wish to sell their produce or baked items whole, it is NOT necessary for the vendor to obtain a Farmers Market permit. If vendors are selling non-potentially hazardous foods prepared at home (baked goods, jams, jellies, etc.) they will be required to post a consumer advisory at their booth at the market in plain sight for all customers to see. Preparing food includes, but is not limited to; cutting, mixing, cooking, cooling, chopping, portioning, or otherwise offering in a ready to eat form (1 whole fruit or vegetable).
Farmers Market Permit
The farmers market permit (PDF) is only required for vendors who wish to prepare food at the market and offer it to their customers as either a sample or a whole portion. This farmers market permit is valid for one calendar year and allows the vendor to either sample their product in small bite-size portions or prepare and serve whole portions only at farmers markets.
Farmers Market Permit Process
The process to obtain a Farmers Market Permit has changed slightly with the recent adoption of a new inspection software in June of 2021. The new process provides a clear set of milestones for Farmers Market vendors to progress through to become permitted if they plan to prepare food at the market. Below is a guide that walks you through the specific milestones that all Farmers Market Vendors must follow in order, to become permitted;
1- Application and Pre-Screen. If you plan to prepare food at the Farmers Market, fill out a Farmers Market application and submit it to our office. Our inspectors will review your application to ensure you have considered everything you'll need to prepare food safely at the Market.
2- Pay Permit Fee (if needed). If you plan to prepare food at the Farmers Market, you will need to pay the permit fee associated with this permit. There are several ways to pay this permit fee (in person, over the phone, or by mail). If you are applying for Retail Food Vendor Permit (selling eggs, meat, or sprouts), there is no permit fee.
3- Issue Permit. Once our inspectors have approved your application and you have paid the permit fee associated with the Farmers Market Permit, your permit will be issued and you may begin to prepare food at the market for customers.
We strive to provide 2 routine inspections per year to all permitted Farmers Market vendors. These inspections will be unannounced, and will focus on ensuring the vendor is implementing and executing basic food safety practices with respect to their food items. All unannounced inspections will be filed and uploaded to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department website.
Basic food safety practices that must be observed are: handwashing, glove/utensil use with read-to-eat food, mechanical refrigeration (cold holding), mechanical heat source (hot holding), time control policy and documentation (if utilized), wash/rinse/sanitize (provided by market manager), and adequate fly control measures.
If you wish to utilize time as a control for potentially hazardous foods, you will be required to have a formal time control policy as well as a time/temperature log to document times and temperatures of these food items for immediate consumption. This is allowed only for ready-to-eat foods for immediate consumption at the market.
This farmers market permit is valid for use at all farmers markets in Greene County. Additionally, vendors must comply with all applicable city codes with respect to tent use and open flames.
Vendors who wish to sell their eggs, meat, or sprouts must apply for a Retail Food Vendor Permit. This permit is issued only once and does not expire. Furthermore, there is no fee associated with this permit and the vendor is NOT required to attend the Farmers Market Food Safety Class. Egg dealers must have a Dealer’s and Retailer’s license from the Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures. The eggs must be held at 41F or less using mechanical refrigeration. Cartons must be properly labeled.
Again, if vendors do not intend to prepare samples or whole portions of food at the market, and only wish to sell their produce or baked items whole, it is NOT necessary for the vendor to obtain a Farmers Market permit. Preparing food includes, but is not limited to; cutting, mixing, cooking, cooling, chopping, portioning, or otherwise offering in a ready to eat form (1 whole fruit or vegetable).
Farmers Market Food Safety Class
It is highly recommended for food vendors preparing food at the event to attend our Farmers Market Food Safety Class to review what will be required of them during food preparation and service at their respective markets. The course is offered free of charge. Class sizes are limited to 25.
Please review upcoming class dates and registration information for the Farmers Market Food Safety Class. Classes are held at the Health Department’s Harold K. Bengsch Building, 227 E Chestnut Expressway. Please note: The Farmers Market Food Safety Class is separate and distinct from the regular Food Handlers Safety Class. As the year progresses from June to December, we typically stop offering the Farmers Market Food Safety Class, due lack of attendance. Please contact your Farmers Market Manager to recruit a group of vendors interested in taking this class. We prefer to offer this class to groups of vendors rather than individuals as they express interest.
If you have questions about the farmers market permits or vendor requirements, contact the Environmental Health Division staff at (417) 864-1017.