Farmers market and the Alabama Cottage Food Law

Recently, The Blount Countian received an anonymous tip that home-canned products including “canned vegetables and other things like that” are being sold at the Blount County Farmers Market, in violation, according to the tip, of the Alabama Cottage Food Law.

Efforts to determine the actual state requirements for allowable and nonallowable, home-canned goods to be sold at farmers markets produced confusing and contradictory information difficult to interpret clearly and definitively.

As a result, an unofficial local task force made up of representatives of the Cooperative Extension System, the Blount County Health Department, and the Agri- Business Center met to clarify the rules and requirements to be observed at the Blount County Farmers Market.

The list that comes out of that meeting will be posted in the wall-mounted display case located under the farmers market shed at the Agri-Business Center. The list will specify allowable home-produced foods for sale to the public, and nonallowable home-produced foods, along with an explanation of any exceptions, restrictions, or requirements that apply.

The list may be posted as soon as Saturday., June 6, but no later than Tuesday, June 9. It will be policed by the Farmers Market Advisory Council headed by Agri-Business Center director Chase Moore, with final enforcement authority to be exercised by the Blount County Health Department.

The Blount Countian will publish that list and any accompanying material for the benefit of interested readers as soon as it is available.