Illinois ranks third in the nation for the number of farmers markets. Farmers markets offer consumers farm-fresh, affordable, convenient, and healthy products, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, meats and more. As you explore farmers markets in your area, it is important to think about food safety. Follow these tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to keep your fresh foods safe: Farmers Market Food Safety Tips | USDA
Farmers Market Regulation
Farmers markets are regulated by local health departments in Illinois. For information about permitting or inspections, contact the local health department(s) where you intend to sell. Find your local health department here.
Farmers Market Sampler Certificate
IDPH supports farmers market vendors by offering a Farmers Market Food Product Sampling Handler Certificate to allow food sampling at a farmers market without having to get a separate license from the local health department (applies to samples only).
This certificate is required for persons who engage in performing tasks such as unpacking, cutting, slicing, preparing, or distributing food product samples. Certificates are not transferrable between individuals and are valid for three years from the issue date.
To apply for this certificate, vendors must complete an application and submit the appropriate materials and fee. To learn more, check out the IDPH Farmers Market Sampler Application Packet. For online applications, view instructions on this webpage. For more information, contact the IDPH Food Protection Program at DPH.Food@illinois.gov.