N.C. Good Farmer’s Market Practices is a new N.C. Cooperative Extension curriculum developed to educate farmer’s market managers and vendors about measures to minimize food safety risks. The program is titled Good Farmer’s Market Practices (GFMPs).
The GFMPs curriculum is specifically targeted to farmer’s market managers and vendors who will be responsible for implementing the practices that will help minimize risks when it comes to the safety of products sold and practices at farmer’s markets. The curriculum provides information to enhance the safety of products sold and practices at farmer’s markets across North Carolina. These efforts are being carried out to protect the farmer’s market sector by increasing good food safety practices and reduce the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks. Considering the increasing popularity of markets, a focus on safety of food products sold protects farmers, patrons, and local economies. Market managers and vendors are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more from this food safety at farmer’s markets curriculum.
Module 1 titled Food Safety Principles focuses on factors contributing to foodborne illness and developing a good food safety culture. The curriculum includes an introduction to common foodborne pathogens and diseases as well as common factors responsible for foodborne illness outbreaks. Factors contributing to the entry and growth of microorganisms will be discussed to provide a better understanding of ways to reduce the risk. Module 2 titled Personnel Health & Hygiene focuses on communicating good food safety culture responsibilities. Restrooms and handwashing stations are concentrated on in this module. Effective handwashing, glove use, and hand sanitizer are covered. Facilities and behaviors are addressed with risk identification and management issues confronted. Module 3 titled Food Sampling focuses on proper preparation, storage, cleaning, sanitizing, and transporting of food products and food samples. Knowing food safety risks associated, how to prevent risks, and corrective actions are focused on to provide an understanding of risk reduction practices.
The development of the N.C. Good Farmer’s Market Practices Curriculum was funded with a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.