Farmer's Markets and Cottage Food Businesses

Farmer’s Markets and Cottage Food Businesses

A farmer's market is a place where the following are offered:

• Raw agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, and grains directly from a farm;
• Eggs offered in compliance with Maryland Department of Agriculture regulations for the sale of eggs at Farmer's Markets               MDA regulations for the sale of eggs at farmer's markets
MDA Guidelines for Selling Eggs at Roadside stands and Farmer’s Markets
• Foods Manufactured on a farm by a licensed food processor in accordance with COMAR (possessing a Producer     Mobile Farmer’s Market License);
• Commercially processed non-potentially hazardous pre-packaged and bottled products; and
• Cottage foods produced in accordance with COMAR

The following homemade foods made in a private kitchen under the Cottage Food Business regulations may be offered at a farmer’s market or public event:
• Non-potentially hazardous hot-filled canned acid fruit jellies, jams, preserves, and butters produced in a home kitchen;
   Jellies & Jams Guidelines
• Non-potentially hazardous baked goods produced in a home kitchen; and
• Non-potentially hazardous hard candies.
All products sold must be, at a minimum, labeled with the name and address of the producer, name of the product, ingredients listed in descending order by weight, the net volume or weight, and allergen information. In addition, cottage foods must be clearly labeled as cottage foods, in accordance with COMAR
    Cottage Food Business Guidelines
    Cottage Food Labeling Guidelines
Participants who vend the products listed above do not need a food service permit from the FCHD Food Control Office unless they wish to sample their products at the markets or public events. Producers that wish to sample their products may apply for a Seasonal Farmer’s Market Producer Sampling License.
  Seasonal Farmer’s Market Producer Sampling License application
  Seasonal Farmer’s Market Producer Sampling License guidelines
Other food service offerings, such as coffee beverage service and ready to eat food items at a farmer's market would require a temporary food service facility permit from the Food Control Office prior to participation in an event. Currently, a single event permit or a seasonal market permit is available for farmer’s market participation.
  Farmers Market Application

The following reference document has been prepared jointly by Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Agriculture to give an overview of processing and selling food products in Maryland.
Processing and Selling Value Added Food Products in Maryland

Nonpotentially hazardous food items are those products that do not require temperature control for safety (refrigeration). Rock candy, cookies, fruit pies, and brownies are examples as nonpotentially hazardous Frosting and fillings for baked goods are considered potentially hazardous and require refrigeration if they contain potentially hazardous ingredient such as cream cheese or cream