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 WVDA to Begin Farmers Market Inspections


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As of July 1, 2019, the West Virginia Department of

Agriculture (WVDA) will begin the inspection of farmers markets and Farmer Markets

Vendor Permits. The inspections are part of the new rules and regulations authorized under

Senate Bill 375 which passed during the 2018 session. Corresponding rules were approved

earlier this year and went into effect June 2, 2019.


“The intent of the legislation was to expand markets for cottage foods, as well as have one

agency handle the regulations. The hope was these changes would help grow small agribusinesses

in our state,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We need to

make sure folks understand these changes are now being implemented.”


Senate Bill 375 authorized the sale of potentially hazardous foods, made in home-kitchens, at

farmers markets. Previously, the sale of these foods were illegal unless made in a commercial

kitchen. The legislation also transferred all authority to regulate these businesses to the

WVDA. As part of the rules, all farmers markets must register with the WVDA and provide

a list of potential vendors.


“We have worked with our partners to host 30 informational meetings around the state.

Hundreds of stakeholders attended to ask quesitons. We hope people understand what they

must do to come into compliance under the new law,” said WVDA Regulatory and

Environmental Affairs Director Amie Minor.


Producers who wish to sell canned acidified products, pickled products, fermented products,

sauces, salsas, or time-temperature controlled foods must obtain a permit and pass a home

kitchen inspection. At farmers markets, they must display that permit, as well as follow

proper health safety guidelines. Vendors found in violation may be levied fines or have their

permit suspended.

For more information or questions, contact Chad Linton clinton@wvda.us or 304-558-2227.

Contact Information

Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director cgallagher@wvda.us, 304-558-3708 or 304-380-3922