(May 1, 2018) – During the 2018 Legislative Session, Senate Bill (SB) 375 Relating to Farmers Markets was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. SB 375 goes into effect on June 8, 2018. SB 375 changes WV Code Chapter 19 Article 35 Sections 2-5, and transfers regulation of farmers markets and farmers market vendors to the WV Department of Agriculture (WVDA).
• SB 375 does require that (WV Code 19-35-3-e) a consignment farmers market obtain a food establishment permit (retail food permit) issued by the local health department.
• SB 375 does require that (WV Code 19-35-3-e) individual vendors selling certain farm and food products (including but not limited to meat, poultry, dairy, fish, and sprouted seeds) at a farmers market (not associated with a consignment farmers market) get a food establishment permit (retail food permit) issued by the local health department.
• SB 375 allows vendors at farmers markets to sell non-potentially hazardous foods (i.e. baked goods) without registering with the local health department.
• SB 375 allows vendors to sell home canned products as specified in 19-35-5 a-e. These home canned products can only be sold at a Farmers Market.
• SB 375 allows WVDA to make rules related to product sampling at farmers markets, that will not require a food establishment permit from the LHD. But it is our interpretation that a food establishment permit will be required for chef/cooking demonstration at a Farmers Market.
• SB 375 states that WVDA shall propose emergency or legislative rule implementing this article; to date we have no information on a WVDA rule related to a proposed Farmers Market rule.
We realize that the change in the way Farmers Market Vendors are handled will be very confusing for both the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department and the vendors. If you have any questions concerning the changes in Farmers Market permitting, please give call at 304.234.3682.