In 2014, Illinois Stewardship Alliance was proud to champion the “Smarter Rules for Farmers Markets” which aimed to standardize farmers market regulations across Illinois in order to make it easier for farmers to attend multiple markets. Because of this bill, new sampling regulations are going into effect this year. Now farmers can offer product samples in multiple counties throughout the state with just ONE certificate! This is GREAT news! Sampling has been reported to grow product sales up to 30%!
Here’s what you need to know about the statewide Farmers Market Food Sampling Handler’s Certificate:
1. Food Product Sampling Handler Certificates are required for all persons who engage in performing tasks such as unpacking, cutting, slicing, preparing or distributing food product samples.
2. Food Product Sampling Handler Certificates are not transferable between individuals.
3. Certificates are issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health
4. If you are an individual already possessing a valid Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certificate (FSSMC), you will be required to submit the following to the Illinois Department of Public Health:
- (1.)Payment of the $10 application fee.
- (2.)An application on a form provided by the Department: Farmers Market Food Sampling Certificate Form
5.Individuals who do not possess a valid FSSMC shall submit the following:
- (1.) Evidence of successful completion of IDPH Farmers’ Market Sampling Training
- You can reach the online training course by going to https://i.train.org/ and entering the course number into the search: #1061218
There are a limited number of in-person trainings available at this time. The first will be held during the Illinois Farmers Market Association Conference in Chicago on February 17th. A second will be held in Springfield at a date and time that have not yet been determined.
- (2.) Evidence of successful completion of a Food Handler Training course
Information about the online Food Handler Training Course can be found here. You can fill out an application and take the online training for the certificate here.
- (3.) An application on a form provided by the Department. Farmers Market Food Sampling Certificate Form
- (4.) Payment of the $40 application fee.
5. Certificates issued to a Food Service Sanitation Manager (FSSM) will be valid 36 months from the issue date.
6. Certificates issued to a non-FSSM will be valid for 36 months from the date of the successful completion of the Department farmers’ market food sampling handler training.