Biosecurity and farmers' markets
Food safety and your obligations
Food licencing requirements vary from state to state. Farmers’ market organisers work with local government to ensure all stall holders meet their selling obligations and licencing requirements. Talk to your farmers’ market organiser if you require further information.
Farmers markets provide a great opportunity for farmers to sell their agricultural products direct to the consumer and, in turn, consumers enjoy being able to buy fresh produce direct from the farm.
With farmers markets rapidly growing in Australia it must be acknowledged that these gatherings could potentially be a vehicle for the spread of animal and plant pests and diseases.
Australian farms currently enjoy freedom from major pests and disease, so good biosecurity practices are essential in maintaining this health status. In addition to standard biosecurity practices, participants at farmers’ markets should also adopt the following biosecurity measures.
At the farmers’ market
- Don’t share equipment with other stall holders without ensuring it is clean and free of soil and contaminants. Wash and disinfect containers and equipment between each use.
- Don’t put other stall holders’ products in with yours, keep them separate.
- Ensure the produce you sell is fresh and of high quality.
- Brush or wash fruit and vegetables to remove soil before selling.
- Always practice good personal hygiene and cleanliness at your stall as disease can be carried on clothing, footwear and skin.
Bird pests and diseases
- Where possible use new egg cartons when selling eggs as pre-used cartons can help spread disease. If you need to use pre-used cartons, keep them away from birds. Always wash your hands after handling the cartons, and before handling your birds.
- Always practice good personal hygiene when handling meat and eggs.
When you get home
- Clean your equipment then wipe it over with household disinfectant.
- Keep an eye out for, and immediately report any signs of animal or plant disease.
- Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881
- Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888
- Visit farmbiosecurity.com.au for free on-farm biosecurity information and resources
- For information on Fruit Fly and the Home Garden, visit preventfruitfly.com.au.