Best practices for cutomers shopping at farmers markets during the coronavirus outbreak

County Agent’s Corner



Not only do vendors have a part to play in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, customers have a responsibility too. Let’s look at some best practices for customers.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is encouraging everyone who is healthy and feels safe to visit our farmers markets in order to gain healthy local food from area farmers, ranchers, and small businesses. If you choose to visit your local farmers market, please be patient and follow new market rules set by the Farmers Market Authority during this time. These guidelines are put in place to protect everyone and make sure we have access to safe and nutritious food.

Wash or sanitize your hands frequently while at the market. Wash your hands as soon as you arrive at the farmers market, frequently while you shop, and before you leave the market. There is an increased number of hand washing stations and sanitizer available for customers. Vendors are required to display hand sanitizer in each booth.

Practice social distancing. Don’t shake hands. Wave or smile instead. Maintain six feet distance while waiting in line. Don’t congregate in walkways or between booths.

No hand-to-hand contact. No hand-to-hand contact is allowed between vendors and shoppers. Point to products and allow the vendor to bag it for you and place it on the table. Don’t hand money to vendors directly. Place cash and cards on the table. Use ApplePay or Venmo if available, remembering to sanitize your phone before you plan to use it for electronic payment methods.

High risk shoppers should stay home. If you are over 65, have underlying health conditions, or don’t feel well, stay home. Consider having someone else go to the market for you.

Remember these regulations are for your safety and the safety of others. Please do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

For more information about this and other food safety topics, visit or follow Alabama Cooperative Extension Service on Facebook.