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Health Dept and Farmer's Markets

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
This April the county health dept came out with new regulations that will affect farmers markets.....they are charging a $75 season fee (which for many is a hardship....think corn guy or peach guy that come for 3-6 weeks) they are inspecting what was never an issue. oh boy.

Does a high temp (180*+) dishwasher count as a steralizer for jars? the sweet honey lady has been recycling jars for years and was dinged because of it.

Any of you have experience with farmer's markets and regs?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 14
Shroom,
Most inspectors are really gonna want them boiloed in water 1" above the jars for at least 10 min.
I was wondering if she was aware of baking. I wasn't. I don't know if the FDA approves it for food but it is acceptable for the medical industry. Can't see the difference. Anyway, might be fun to throw it at the inspector:D

Sterilizing Glassware and Metal Objects
Glass and metal objects can be sterilized by autoclaving at 121°C for 15 min or by sterilizing in a benchtop steam sterilizer or pressure cooker according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you do not have access to a steam sterilizer of any kind, metal and glass can be sterilized simply by baking them in a conventional oven. Baking at 350°F for 2 hours is sufficient.

To sterilize by baking, cover openings securely with aluminum foil. Wrap spatulas or small objects in foil. Put the objects in either a hot or a cold oven; it is handy to place them on a tray or in a container first. Bake them as if they were a casserole. When they are done, remove them, allow them to cool, and store them with the foil on.

pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Pan.
Joy Stinger (aka honey lady....yes that is her real name....and yes she's as whacky as that implies) is around 80 years old and has sold raw honey, pollen, aracona eggs ....she lives in an upscale neighborhood (3blks from the market) and turned her swimming pool into an edible fish pond....she has chickens and roosters in her upscale neighborhood garage. In another life she was a graphic artist that worked on the top floor of her home and had a basket pulley for a delivery system.

Joy has got the cutest tiny voice and just looks so sweet and innocent but I gotta tell you she will stretch/bend rules of any kind....she told the city health inspector that honey is put on wounds and thus does not absorb bacteria.....as the manager/rule maker/inforcer of the market she at times has frustrated me to no end and enthralled me with her adament determined logical self. I'll give her the heads up on the jars and baking. You would think a commercial 180* would hack it.

It'll be fun to see what they come up with when the sampling starts.....
gloves, handwash areas throughout, asceptic look to an "organic" medium....

Yesterday was the opening of a new growers market and it was wonderful. There were crowds at the beginning, I got a flat of organic strawberries.
talked to a few friends/farmers....then left to pick up 30# of lamb at another market. Started crunching on the butter crunch pecans coated in dk choc...and could not stop eating the 3 oz pkg....outstanding. So headed back to pick up several for my mom and hung out for the remaining 3 hours.
This market is in the middle of a park with sports, dogs, numerous activities in an area of town that is heart of ethnic restaurants....a whole lot more facial piercings, tattoos, transitional dressing....it was interesting seeing mid-American rural very buttoned down, very narrow, selling to the people on the edge. The organizer had his act together....he put in an awful lot of work and it showed. The feel was good. The combination of products was great.
They had arts/crafts that were handmade and high quality.....which I've never allowed at any of my markets. If I weren't gearring up for the 7th season next Sat. I'd be hanging out down there alot.

Health regulators.....good for the public? I think of all the crappy little grocery stores that line the hood or the Asian markets that have seafood in a box on the floor or various meats or help your self bins that are downright scary......or bars that are dark for a reason......then I think of farmer's markets that are open 3-4 hours. The Granddaddy of them all has on occasion slaughtered chickens/fowls/goats within site on the parking lot...

I'm sure we'll work through it....but it's just a pain to have to deal with it the week prior to the season openning.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 14
Shroom,
Joy is right. There is too high a sugar level for anything to grow.
Sounds like a wonderful place.
We're sooo generic here. Our farmers market consists of vendors buying product from the local produce co. right there and lining the stalls.
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #5 of 14
Unfortunately we have ourselves (meaning the public) to thank for such regulations. We have become such a litgious society that we are almost forcing the government to take such actions. No body wants to take responsibility for themselves anymore so the government is forced to do. It is sad that the government has to get involved (and personally I think they need to stay out), but it will be an even sadder day when the government legislates such markets and farmers out of business.
post #6 of 14
Pete,
There is no place for farmers and small business in this Gov't. Trust me, I get a sharp stick stuck in me at least once every two weeks.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #7 of 14
The only health risk associated with honey is infant botulism, and I bet most of us have been told not to feed our babies honey until they're at least a year old. Other than that I can't remember of anyone getting sick from eating honey.

Health departments seem to be able to make up all kinds of rules on the spot. They sometimes have way too much power, and what's with the inspection fee? Aren't health departments publicly funded?

Farmers markets needs to organize and start collecting some political clout.
post #8 of 14
Kuan,
Oh No. I was just bumped to $350. per 1000 sq ft to pay to have my kitchen inspected. Oh, the larger units like franchised were kept the same.
The biggest problem is that each jurisdiction has their own interpretation of the FDA guidlines. Last time around, 5pts off because my sanitation buckets with towel were not on the FLOOR! So now we kick them around all day:D
serious
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #9 of 14
Someone is going to look very silly dragging an 80 year old woman into court. When I owned rest homes, I had aloe vera growing everywhere. We used it straight from the washed 'leaf'. The plant must be two years old to be therapeutically valuable. Then valuable it certainly is.

We used honey fairly extensively to. Principally Manuka 15+. As a healing medium it has no parallel. A spoonfull TDS in hot water is even effective for night incontinence in a good number of people. I do not know why, I think it is natural antibiotics. Very safe. I do know both my kids and my olds responded more quickly to this benign treatment than any antibiotic. I think one of the reasons is the olds become so tender in skin and in general. The genitalia is wasted and flattened, leaving (women) particularly suseptable to low grade infections, not necessarily picked up on laboratory results.

When cranberry juice became available here, all my patients had a glass with each meal, and a gently warmed night cap. It made a difference too, not just in the (suspected) urinary infections, bit in general. As would naturally follow.

As for farmers markets, I cannot think of a safer place to buy produce. We have one here in this (semi) rural area, on saturday mornings. And we buy bread from a chap with full moko, hands arms the lot. Maori bread of course. His mum is baking it at home, as he sells, and another couzie bro delivers to the market from the oven. Nice fellow. My word those loaves are heavy. And other products. There is fish there, but no meat. It mostly tops us for the week.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
We're sooo generic here. Our farmers market consists of vendors buying product from the local produce co. right there and lining the stalls.
pan


That's one of the reasons I formed Clayton Farmer's Market, out of the 30 farmers I called in 1998 10 were giving up the 100 year old farm. I had lined up 10 weeks of cooking demos at the "farmers" market that's 200 years old and the public (&chefs) could not tell the difference between brokers and farmers...that was all it took. I thought hmmmm this is a no-brainer, everyone will grasp the concept of local farmer vs shipped in product....7 years later it's still a mystery to many. The market is supposed to be fun. When entities (health regulators, retail on the blk, city council....etc....)
throw road blks in the way or think the world revolves only around them or don't see the limitless possibilities of 1200 people showing up on Sat. morning...sorry it's just 5 days away and I'm still trying to find a reliable set-up crew with a truck that want to set-up @5am on Sat. morning.

Pan, are you sure Houston has no farmer's markets? I would think with your deverse ethnic population there could be an extrodinary one.....oh man,
the various produce as well as prepared foods....goat meat.....etc...it could be a beautiful addition to the Texas landscape.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 14
All those who have participated or organised farmers markets, Have not just my hat off to you, but I would throw it at your feet. Fight back. In any way you are able. Houses would not burn down here, but the dwelling or the batch might just disappear over night. When the owners were away. Sad that.
post #12 of 14

No inspection for markets here..

Last summer I started a Sunday farmers market outside my restaurant in Vermont. When I asked the health inspector what the regulations were he said, and this is a quote, "You can kill as many people as you want if you only do it once a week." At least here, there is no inspection for any once/ week venture.
Will work for a bed and shower... I want to find a place to live that isn't Vermont. I am interested in seeing a few sites.
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Will work for a bed and shower... I want to find a place to live that isn't Vermont. I am interested in seeing a few sites.
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post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I demoed kale, scallion and basil sauteed with olive oil and salt today....made converts of numerous kale virgins. Don't think I killed anyone.
Funny my 93 year old grandmother swears by kale says it's one of the healthiest ways of getting calcium. One customer kept going on about the antioxidants and other properties.......by anyother name eh.?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 14
Clayton should be a great place for an organic farmers market, much like my neighborhood in Chicago. You must have huge crowds....
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