January 2019 - 34

FARM MARKET & AGRITOURISM
Training key to farm market food safety efforts
By Jeff Mulhollem
Penn State University
Many vendors at farmers' markets
take inadequate precautions to prevent
the spread of foodborne illness, and they
should be trained to reduce food safety
risks, according to Penn State researchers
who completed the final phase of an
innovative five-year study.
Using a comprehensive three-way
approach, the research assessed food
safety behaviors at Pennsylvania
farmers' markets using direct
concealed observations, state sanitarian
observations, and self-reported vendor
surveys. The results revealed key
distinctions between observed vendor
food-handling practices - by both
researchers and state sanitarians - and
vendor self-reported practices.
The findings, which were published
in Food Protection Trends, suggest that
Pennsylvania would greatly benefit from a
customized food safety training program
offered to farmers' market vendors
to address the identified issues and
regulatory requirements for selling safe
foods in Pennsylvania.
" We found that our direct field
observations and inspector findings
were very similar, yet very different
from what most vendors said they were
doing - their self-reported behaviors, "
said Cathy Cutter, professor of food
science in the Penn State College of
Direct field observations and inspector findings were very similar, yet very different from
what most vendors said they were doing - their self-reported behavior. Photos: Joshua
Scheinberg/Penn State University
Agricultural Sciences, whose research
group conducted the study.
" There was a chasm, if you will,
between what we and the inspectors saw,
and what vendors reported they were
doing, " said Cutter, who is also assistant
director of food safety and quality
programs for Penn State Extension. " The
vendors think they are doing a good job,
when in reality they are not. We are not
sure why there were such discrepancies.
Nevertheless, they need to do better. "
Specifically, vendors were found
to demonstrate insufficient or highrisk
behaviors in the areas of hand
washing, personal hygiene and crosscontamination.
Notably, researchers
found that the use of disposable gloves at
Pennsylvania farmers' markets remains
low, even among vendors who sell
unpackaged, ready-to-eat foods.
Direct concealed observations
conducted by the researchers found
less than 24 percent of the vendors had
disposable gloves present at vending
stands, despite the fact that a majority
According to the USDA, there are about
8,500 farmers' markets in the U.S. and
while most all of them sell fresh produce like
this, 40 percent of them are selling prepared
foods, 66 percent meat or poultry and 16
percent fish or seafood.
of surveyed vendors sold raw or
temperature-control-for-safety foods,
such as meat and seafood, as well as
ready-to-eat foods at the same stand. And
within the group of vendors observed to
be using disposable gloves, slightly less
than half used them improperly.
The handling of money and
unpackaged foods without changing
gloves in between tasks was the
most common improper glove-use
behavior seen by both researchers and
Pennsylvania state sanitarians.
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January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2019

January 2019 - 1
January 2019 - 2
January 2019 - 3
January 2019 - 4
January 2019 - 5
January 2019 - 6
January 2019 - 7
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January 2019 - 9
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2023
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2023
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2019
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