In June 2018, the WVDA began registering both Farmers Markets and Farmers Market Cottage Food Vendors in WV as a result of regulation established in Senate Bill 375. The new rules remove local health departments from the farmers market vendor permitting process, transferring the authority to the WVDA.
The intention of the new rule is to create an avenue for entrepreneurship and allow the direct sale of certain acidified foods to boost WV local small producers.
Farmers Market Registrations
Who needs to register?
All farmers markets in WV need to register with the WVDA. A farmers market is defined as two or more vendors gathering to sell farm and food products directly to consumers at a fixed location. This includes: traditional, online, consignment, on farm, farm stand, and mobile farmers markets.
How do I register my farmers market?
Fill out the WV Farmers Market Registration Form and return to the WVDA by March 1st each year. The registration for a farmers market is free of charge.
Farmers Market Vendor Registrations
Who is required to obtain a permit?
Vendors who wish to produce and sell canned acidified products, such as salsas, sauces, fermented products, acidified fruits and vegetables, and picked products are required to obtain a Farmers Market Vendor permit with the WVDA prior to sale, in lieu of a food establishment permit. Certain potentially hazardous products, such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products additionally require a food establishment permit.
How do I obtain a permit?
Fill out the WV Farmers Market Vendor Permit Application and return to the WVDA by March 1st each year. The registration fee is $35 annually. Vendors are required to:
- Pass an annual kitchen inspection
- Follow the Farmers Market Vendor Guide
- Pass label review by the WVDA
- Successfully complete WVDA approved training
If you are unsure if you need to obtain a vendor permit, contact email@example.com with any inquiries.
Note: The farmers market vendor exemption does not indicate an exemption to FSMA produce safety requirements.
A Potentially Hazardous Food (PHF) is a food that requires time-temperature control to keep the food safe for human consumption. A PHF contains moisture (water activity > 0.850), protein and a pH between 4.6 and 7.5. OR are foods that require time-temperature control to keep them safe for human consumption. In general, foods with a water activity greater than 0.85, contain protein and/or are slightly acidic (a pH between 4.6 and 7.5)
A Potentially Hazardous Condiment is a spice or sauce that is added to food, typically, after cooking, to impart a specific flavor or complement a dish. This product will be acidified with a pH of 4.6 or below and water activity above 0.85. This product must have a process authority, and a WVDA Label Review. This product may require time and/or temperature control. Examples may include mustard, ketchup, horseradish, etc.
For potentially hazardous products to be sold at farmers markets in West Virginia, basic requirements must be followed to ensure the products are safely handled and prepared. An outline of this may be found on page 16, but requirements set forth in WV 61CSR38 include:
Letter of Process Authority
A copy of the letter from a process authority must be supplied to the WVDA to sell certain potentially hazardous foods, such as sauces, salsas, fermented, and picked products. A list of these may be found at the link below.
List of Potentially Hazardous Foods, not all inclusive
Raw and Cooked Meat- including bacon, beef, pork, and processed meats
Foods containing meat such as lasagna, calzones, sauces, casseroles, curries
Dairy Products- including all desserts
Cooked Rice and Pasta
Raw Seed Sprouts
Cut/prepared fresh fruits and vegetables including melons, tomatoes and salad greens
Baked Goods with custards, dairy, or other time temperature product inside
Pickled Products- including piccalilli, horseradish, chutneys, corn relish, catsup, chow chow, gherkin, ginger pickle, kimchi
Fermented Foods- kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, kombucha, miso, kimchi, salami, chichi, ganjang, ketchup, sour cabbage, soured milk
Cooked and Canned Beans
Cooked Soybean Products (tofu)
Three Bean Salad
Sauces- hot, marinara, spaghetti, chimichurri, sweet and sour, tartar, creole, garlic, cranberry, pico de gallo, romesco, cocktail, sofrito, steak, satay peanut, vinaigrette, wine, worcestershire
Jellies and Jams with added products– hot pepper jelly, jalapeno, habanero, green, red, chili, pumpkin spice, bourbon, ghost, scorpion, beer, margarita, thai, rhubarb, ginger, hot huckleberry, lemon basil, Lime, coconut
Sweet Potato Pie
Certificate of attendance from a good manufacturing practices (GMP) or better process control school.
Label Review Certificate from the WVDA
Note the label requirements are listed in the WVDA Farmers Market Vendor Guide.
Farmers Market Vendor Permit
All potentially hazardous foods that are prepared and sold for human consumption at WV farmers markets shall apply for and receive a WV Farmers Market Vendor permit, prior to the sale of the PHF.
Note: The above items must be completed prior to submission for the vendor permit along with the associated $35 annual fee. Note: For any potentially hazardous food that requires a time or temperature control, if the vendor is using another agent for the sale of the TTC product, it is also the responsibility of the agent to ensure proper storage and handling temperatures are maintained.
A Non-Potentially Hazardous Food is a food that does not require a time/temperature control for safety determined through pH and/or aw (water activity) testing.
What products are exempt from obtaining a farmers market vendor permit?
Nondietary jams and jellies
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
Commercially harvested mushrooms
Canned, whole, chopped tomatoes
Fresh uncut produce