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Arlington Farmer’s Market Celebrating 30th Anniversary

by ARLnow.com June 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm 1,533 5 Comments

Saturday marks the 30th anniversary of the Arlington’s Farmers Market, and the county has some special events planned to celebrate.

Shortly after the market opens at 8:00 a.m, county board member Mary Hynes will host a ceremony honoring the founders of the market.

There will also be giveaways, kids’ activities, gardening demonstrations, and appearances by local chefs, who will be sharing cooking tips.

In the wake of several farmers market vendors being shut down by health inspectors two weeks ago, safety-minded county officials will also be distributing flyers to market customers and vendors.

The content of those flyers, after the jump.

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief.



For vendors:

ARLINGTON FARMER’S MARKETS: FRESH, LOCAL & SAFE!

  • To safeguard public health, Arlington inspects all food establishments, including farmer’s markets, ensuring they comply with the 2005 FDA Food Code.
  • Inspections at farmers markets include:
    • Temperature control checks for perishable foods such as meats, cheeses and products made with eggs
    • Proper packaging or covering checks for ready-to-eat (RTE) foods to prevent bare hand contact and other contamination
    • Ingredient lists checks to warn people with food allergies
  • Staff performing inspections receive standardized training about the FDA Food Code. Inspections are assigned in a random fashion for quality control.
  • County staff work closely with farmer’s market vendors and management to help them get into compliance with the food code. This ensures that customers enjoy safe and wholesome foods and have a great Arlington farmer’s market experience.

For customers:

HOW TO ENJOY FOOD FROM FARMER’S MARKETS SAFELY

  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating always.
  • DON’T buy ready-to-eat foods that have been handled with bare hands. Ready-to-eat foods, such as baked goods, typically are not washed or cooked after purchase.
  • Buy perishable foods only from vendors permitted by the health department.
  • Perishable foods include meats, cheeses, and products made with eggs that have to be kept at proper temperatures to prevent germ growth.
  • Look for a display of ingredients in ready-to-eat foods to avoid allergic reactions.
  • For more information, call Evelyn Poppell, Public Health at 703-228-7400.

  • MC

    I was at the Court House Farmer’s Market this morning, and observed numerous stands having to hide their goods under sheets of plastic or cloth. It was really sad — it took away the excitement of seeing of the goods available, and I feel sense of assurance that I now have safe food, whereas perviously I did not. It is obviously more work for the vendors, and I won’t be surprised is sales are hurt.

    This is perhaps the most dimwitted action I have seen the County do recently. If there are hypochondriacs out there, these measures won’t reassure them. People worried about food safety at a farmer’s market should shop elsewhere, and good luck to them.

    • MC

      Meant to say I didn’t have a sense of assurance I now have safe food, unlike previously. The point is these vendors have an interest in making their food safe, so they keep their loyal customers coming back.

    • Is that up to the County?

      I thought this was governed by the VA Dept of Health?

  • Mike

    With the exception of a few items (like tomatos) most of the stuff sold at the local farmers markets is overpriced and sold to suckers who think “organic” products are better in a touchy feely sort of way.

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