Minnesota Farmers' Market Association 


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


Onsite food consumption is now allowed at farmers’ markets with restrictions

With Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-74, farmers’ markets are allowed to offer both food samples and onsite food consumption as long as required conditions are met. See below for recent information and details on:

  • Food Sampling
  • Onsite Food Consumption
  • COVID-19 Preparedness Plans 


1. Food Sampling

You can offer food samples anywhere in the market as long as you continue to follow the “Safe Food Sampling at the Farmers’ Market” law, M.S. 28A.151 and the conditions listed in the Stay Safe MN’s guidelines for “Grocery and Convenience Stores:”

  • Food samples are covered or shielded according to the Minnesota Food Code
  • Samples are pre-portioned
  • Sample area is monitored by a vendor/worker to maintain social distancing and discourage congregating
  • Vendor/worker is protected by social distancing and/or the use of barriers
  • Adequate trash receptacles are provided to dispose of waste

Additionally, there is no limit on the number of customers eating food samples. If your market is choosing the "entire market area" option for onsite consumption, then you must have fewer than 250 customers in the market for that requirement (see below for details).2. Onsite Food Consumption

Farmers’ markets are allowed to offer onsite food consumption in both indoor or outdoor locations, with some conditions. There are two options, below. If a market chooses to allow onsite food consumption, the guidance provided for restaurants and bars should be modified to fit the market’s situation. Of the "Key Requirements" in the guidance, only the requirement for reservations is waived for farmers' markets.

  1. Markets can choose to not offer any onsite food consumption (regardless of food sampling policy).
  2. You can choose to offer onsite consumption of food products at farmers’ markets. If you choose to offer onsite food consumption, some guidelines apply.  There are two options: a designated eating area or the entire market area.

Designated eating area:

  • You must have fewer than 250 customers in the eating area
  • At least 6 feet between tables
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Customers must be seated to eat, not walking around
  • Use a rope or other way to indicate the eating area
  • All eating must occur in eating area
  • Recommended: put all onsite food vendors in the eating area to make this easiest
  • All market workers (vendors, staff, volunteers) in the designated eating area must wear face coverings
  • The market must provide protective equipment and supplies, such as source control face coverings, face-shields, gloves, hand-sanitizer, disinfectants, and provide training when required and on proper use.
  • Food sampling vendors do not need to be in the eating area


Entire market area:

  • You can choose to designate your entire market the premises
  • You must have fewer than 250 customers in the market
  • At least 6 feet between tables
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Customers must be seated to eat, not walking around
  • You must have an entrance and exit to monitor numbers
  • You must count the customers in the market – must remain fewer than 250 total at any one time
  • People can eat anywhere in the market
  • All market workers (vendors, staff, volunteers) in the entire market area must wear face coverings
  • The market must provide protective equipment and supplies, such as source control face coverings, face-shields, gloves, hand-sanitizer, disinfectants, and provide training when required and on proper use.


3. COVID-19 Preparedness Plan required by June 29 

All farmers’ markets are required to have a written COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place and implementing it by June 29. A template for the Plan is provided by the Department of Labor and Industry. This plan must be followed by all workers, vendors (including non-food vendors), and customers at the market. The market does not submit their Plan to anyone; it is just kept on file. If a market would like help developing their Plan or would like someone to review it, MFMA can provide that assistance.

Vendors themselves most likely will be required to have their own Plan, but it is not the responsibility of the market to verify they have one.

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template and instructions (updated June 15, 2020) :  

  • Word document | PDF 
  • Translated versions of Word document (updated May 30, 2020) – Hmong | Somali | Spanish
  • Click here to link to the DLI webpage for these and other updates related to COVID-19. 

Zoom

Invites to upcoming MFMA webinars and recordings of recent webinars related to COVID-19 and more 

FAQ

Frequently asked questions from market vendors and staff related  to COVID-19 and Minnesota Farmers' Markets

Guidance for Markets

MFMA guidance for Minnesota farmers' markets and vendors during COVID-19

Food Regulations 

Information for Minnesota farmers' markets regarding regulations on pre-ordering and online sales

Messaging & How-tos

Information on market layouts, messaging, signage, hand-washing stations, and links to other resources.

Stay Safe Minnesota

Tip for shoppers on how to stay safe and what to expect at markets this season.

Forms and Templates

Documents for notifying FNS of delayed or canceled markets, & COVID-19 Preparedness Plan



MFMA provides services, programs and leadership that support and promote farmers' markets across Minnesota.

Minnesota Farmers' Market Association /// 9800 155th Street East, Nerstrand MN 55053 /// info@mfma.org 

Communications Director: Kim Guenther /// kguenther@mfma.org /// (573) 470-4445 

Director of Member Services: Jesse Davis /// jdavis@mfma.org /// (218) 259-9675 

Executive Director: Kathy Zeman /// kzeman@mfma.org /// (507) 664-9446 

       

Copyright MFMA 2019


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