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About Farmers Market Foods

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to know to get started?

Labelling & Food Handling.

Selling Your Baking...

If you are selling at our farmers’ market, or to sell at a public market, flea market, craft show, etc., you will need to produce your foods in a commercial kitchen and be individually permitted by Alberta Health Services.

Alberta Health Services has developed some standard operating procedures with regards to farmers’ markets, so the rules will be the same throughout the province, found online here.

 

All packaging for your baking should be new and food grade. This means you cannot reuse plastic clamshells, pie plates or packaging like that. You are required to label all your packages with the following information:

  • Common name (Standardized name set out in the Food and Drug Regulations or any other federal regulations.  If the name is not prescribed, the name by which the food is commonly known)
  • Net quantity (Must be declared in metric units)
  • Dealer identity and principal place of business (The principal place of business is the main location where company-related enterprise occurs.  The address should be complete enough for postal delivery.)
  • Durable life date if product has shelf life of 90 days or less (In addition, storage instructions are required if storage differs from normal room temperature)
  • Nutrition labelling – unless exempt
  • Bilingual labelling – unless exempt
  • List of ingredients in descending order of proportion
  • Allergen labelling (Applicable for all ingredients intentionally added to pre-packaged foods.)

Food allergen defined: any protein from any of the following foods or any modified protein, including any protein fraction, that is derived from the following foods:

  • almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • wheat, triticale
  • eggs
  • milk
  • soybeans
  • crustacea (name of the species)
  • fish (name of the species)
  • shellfish (name of the species)
  • mustard seeds

Gluten defined: any gluten protein from the grain of any of the following cereals or the grain of a hybridized strain created from at least one of the following cereals:

  • wheat
  • oats
  • barley
  • rye
  • triticale

For more information about labelling, consult the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising.

If you are selling at our farmers’ market, or to sell at a public market, flea market, craft show, etc., you will need to produce your foods in a commercial kitchen and be individually permitted by Alberta Health Services.

Alberta Health Services has developed some standard operating procedures with regards to farmers’ markets, so the rules will be the same throughout the province, found online here.

All packaging for your baking should be new and food grade. This means you cannot reuse plastic clamshells, pie plates or packaging like that. You are required to label all your packages with the following information:

  • Common name (Standardized name set out in the Food and Drug Regulations or any other federal regulations.  If the name is not prescribed, the name by which the food is commonly known)
  • Net quantity (Must be declared in metric units)
  • Dealer identity and principal place of business (The principal place of business is the main location where company-related enterprise occurs.  The address should be complete enough for postal delivery.)
  • Durable life date if product has shelf life of 90 days or less (In addition, storage instructions are required if storage differs from normal room temperature)
  • Nutrition labelling – unless exempt
  • Bilingual labelling – unless exempt
  • List of ingredients in descending order of proportion
  • Allergen labelling (Applicable for all ingredients intentionally added to pre-packaged foods.)

Food allergen defined: any protein from any of the following foods or any modified protein, including any protein fraction, that is derived from the following foods:

  • almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • wheat, triticale
  • eggs
  • milk
  • soybeans
  • crustacea (name of the species)
  • fish (name of the species)
  • shellfish (name of the species)
  • mustard seeds

Gluten defined: any gluten protein from the grain of any of the following cereals or the grain of a hybridized strain created from at least one of the following cereals:

  • wheat
  • oats
  • barley
  • rye
  • triticale

For more information about labelling, consult the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising.

Selling Other Foods...

If you are preparing a food that might be considered high risk, you may still be able to sell it at the farmers’ market, but it is recommended that you speak with a health inspector first about the product.  

He/she will ask you questions about preparation, storage, transport and how you plan to display it at the market.  Temperature control is critical.

All pre-packaged food products, regardless of where they are sold, are subject to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. All products must be labelled with the following:

  • Common name of product
  • Net quantity
  • List of ingredients in descending order (including food allergens)
  • Durable life date, if 90 days or less
  • Storage instructions, if required
  • Name and address of person making the product (including postal code)
  • Allergens
  • Nutrition fact table – unless exempt
  • Bilingual labelling – unless exempt

It is not sufficient to simply have the ingredient list available. Ingredients must be part of the product label.

On August 4, 2012, changes to allergen labelling came into effect. Inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency did a webinar last June. To view, click here.

Nutrition labelling is not required for most foods sold at farmers’ markets. However, there are foods which do not receive this exemption regardless of where they are sold. Meat is a common exception.

Meat is tricky because there are lots of times that it can lose the nutritional labelling exemption. 

We recommend you talk to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) They will lead you through what needs to be done for your particular case.For more information on food and nutrition labelling as well as exemptions, use the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising found online.

 

For additional information, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Imported and Manufactured Food Division at:

780-495-7023 (Edmonton) or 403-292-4650 (Calgary)

All pre-packaged food products, regardless of where they are sold, are subject to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. All products must be labelled with the following:

  • Common name of product
  • Net quantity
  • List of ingredients in descending order (including food allergens)
  • Durable life date, if 90 days or less
  • Storage instructions, if required
  • Name and address of person making the product (including postal code)
  • Allergens
  • Nutrition fact table – unless exempt
  • Bilingual labelling – unless exempt

It is not sufficient to simply have the ingredient list available. Ingredients must be part of the product label.

On August 4, 2012, changes to allergen labelling came into effect. Inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency did a webinar last June. To view, click here.

Nutrition labelling is not required for most foods sold at farmers’ markets. However, there are foods which do not receive this exemption regardless of where they are sold. Meat is a common exception.

Meat is tricky because there are lots of times that it can lose the nutritional labelling exemption. 

We recommend you talk to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) They will lead you through what needs to be done for your particular case.For more information on food and nutrition labelling as well as exemptions, use the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising found online.

For additional information, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Imported and Manufactured Food Division at:

780-495-7023 (Edmonton) or 403-292-4650 (Calgary)

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