Farmer’s Markets Regulations

Here are some websites and a document that might help as you start looking at regulations and guidance for food products at farmer’s markets.
NCSU – Food Business Development – Who will regulate my food?
Growing Small Farms-Selling Eggs, Meat, and Poultry in North Carolina: What Farmers Need to Know

NCDA & CS – Starting a Home Business and Home Canners

NCDA General Guidelines Regarding Products Exhibited for Sale at Farmer’s Markets and Curb Markets In PDF  Farmers-markets-ncda1

Food Recalls

Recall Classifications

These guidelines categorize all recalls into one of three classes, according to the level of hazard involved:

Class I: Dangerous or defective products that predictably could cause serious health problems or death. Examples include: food found to contain botulinum toxin, food with undeclared allergens, a label mix-up on a lifesaving drug, or a defective artificial heart valve.

Class II: Products that might cause a temporary health problem, or pose only a slight threat of a serious nature. Example: a drug that is under-strength but that is not used to treat life-threatening situations.

Class III: Products that are unlikely to cause any adverse health reaction, but that violate FDA labeling or manufacturing laws. Examples include: a minor container defect and lack of English labeling in a retail food.

The Food Recall Manual

CFSA’s Comments on S 510

Posted with permission from Roland McReynolds, Esq. CFSA Executive Director

Dear Friends: As you may have heard, the Senate is working on a version of a food safety bill, S 510, the Food Safety Modernization

Act. And as you may have heard, there are serious concerns about the impact of this legislation on the small farms and businesses that are

essential to creating a sustainable local food system.

A big push in on to ram the bill through the Senate as early as this week. For months, sustainable ag groups have been working to modify

the bill to create protections for small farms and local food. We have made progress, but we need more time!

North Carolina citizens have a critical chance to slow the reckless rush to pass S 510; for more information, visit and then please contact Senators Burr and Hagan in NC, and your state’s

Senate delegation if you are not in NC.

The website link also has a short two-page outline about the changes that still need to be made to the bill to make it safe for sustainable

agriculture,, as well as links to informative reports from national organizations on the state of food safety in the US.

And, if you haven’t seen it, see this article on a massive potential contamination incident involving industrially-produced food additives,

for yet another example of why highly-processed food products ought to be the primary focus of new food safety laws.




Ph: 919-542-2402

Fax: 919-542-7401

Kristof’s Article on Antibotics in NC livestock

NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF article in New York Times is causing some stir….

NEW YORK TIMES March 6, 2010

“…more antibiotics are fed to livestock in NC alone than are given to humans in the US”

Good Agricultural Practices Fresh Produce Safety Plan for Field Practices Template

Funding for the development of this publication was made possible through the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

This document was developed in workshops with North Carolina growers to provide a framework for them to develop their own food safety plans. Each grower’s conditions are different. Some may find that the plan does not adequately address their specific conditions. In those cases, the plan will need to be supplemented.

Developing a food safety plan requires knowledge of farming practices and best management practices training. Don’t be afraid to consult with experts on your plan. Before attempting to develop a plan, growers should obtain training in Good Agricultural Practices offered by the NC Cooperative Extension or government and trade organizations. Remember, this is just the written plan. The most important part is implementing, checking, correcting, and documenting the activities.

This plan follows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Guide To Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (October 1998) and the USDA Good Agricultural Practices & Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Matrix (May 11, 2007).  

The template plan is available electronically as a printable guide (pdf) or an editable document (MS Word).  The core of the plan encompasses 26 pages, with the additional 39 pages of appendices provide a comprehensive resource for the verifying documentation that might be needed.  Each growers will be able to download the sample word document and “pic n’ choose” from the template as needed.

Printable Template Guide (pdf)  AG-718W_N.C

Food Safety Plan Template (editable word document)

The Document includes:


Introduction and General Guidelines (Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)) 6
Facility Map Overview (Actual Maps contained in Appendix I) 8
SOP 1.0 Worker Health, Hygiene, and Field Sanitation (includes Spanish version) 9
SOP 2.0 Water Usage 13
SOP 3.0 Sewage Treatment and Soils 15
SOP 5.0 Pesticide Usage 17
SOP 6.0 Animal/Wildlife 19
SOP 7.0 Manure and Biosolids Usage 21
SOP 8.0 Field Harvest/Pack and Transportation 23
SOP 11.0 Traceability 25

Please post comment or contact if you have any questions.

Charlotte Talks hosts Food Safety Talks

From WFAE 90.7 Radio out of Charlotte, Mike Collins will hosting a one-hour talk on Food Safety, Wednesday, March 10, 2010.  For more info

link directly to WFAE and their  Blog

Food Safety
We conclude a series on the politics of farming today with an examination of the food safety system in North Carolina. Our experts cover many areas of food safety including restaurant and grocery store inspections, farm produce policies and protecting consumers against food-borne illnesses. No agricultural policy is more important than the safe handling of the food that journeys from farm to fork. Join us for a look at the safety of the food we eat.
Lynn Lathan
– Supervisor, Food and Facilities Sanitation Program, Mecklenburg County Health Dept.
Dan Ragan – Director, Food and Drug Protection Division, NC Dept. of Agriculture
Diane Ducharme – Extension Associate, NC MarketReady (program of NC Cooperative Extension)

S510 Bill is moving….

Article from Food Safety News entitled “Harkin: S. 510 Could Be Signed by May” states that Senator Harkin, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) predicts that S 510 will be on President’s desk by May.

7th Annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum Coming in August

7th Annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum is scheduled for August 18, 2010 in Raleigh, NC.

From last year’s event: The Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum is the event to discuss the future of food safety with the nation’s food safety experts, Congressional Delegation, industry leaders, regulators, public health officials, emergency management, and academia.

Numerous multi-state outbreaks has made reforming the food safety system a priority for our nation. The landscape of food safety is rapidly changing – join us for the latest updates on regulations, best industry practices, marketing, identifying foodborne illnesses, and much more!

More information can be found on NCDA website

Draft Commodity Specific Guidance from FDA and others

2009 was a busy year for FDA, and 2010 looks to be another year of the same. In July, 2009, FDA issued three draft guidance documents for leafy greens, melons, and tomatoes that were open for public comment (within 90 days).

These draft guidance documents are intended to assist domestic firms and foreign firms exporting leafy greens, melons, and tomatoes into the United States (U.S.) by recommending practices to minimize the microbial food safety hazards of the products throughout the entire  supply chain.  Links are located below.

The newest of commodity-specific documents comes from the document was produced through a partnership of Western Growers, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association among other agencies and is based on work started in 2006 at the Food and Drug Administration, according to a new release.  The new document is “Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production, Harvest, Post-Harvest and Value-Added Operations of Green Onions”.

FDA Draft Commodity Specific Documents:

Western Growers, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association

Food processing websites from NCDA&CS, Food & Drug Division

With increases in home canning and value-adding of products, the NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force members want to make sure that information is available on the entire Farm to Fork that would include this area.

For Home Canners:

For Commercial Food Business Startups  (including farmers seeking to add value):