Virus update 2

The Barrow County Farmers Market will open May 2 and hold its season every Saturday through Nov. 21, but will operate under “strict” safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic, according to organizers.

“It will not be the opening we were hoping for,” organizers said. “It will not be a gathering space or community event. It will be a place to buy local food in an environment with strict safety protocols.

“COVID-19 has not been found to be transferred through food. It is, however, essential to reduce contact during the market to avoid transfer from person to person.”

The market will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the Historic Barrow County Courthouse in downtown Winder.

Below are the required protocols.

The market manager will:

•assign booth spaces with increased spacing between vendors.

•set up a hand-washing station at the market booth.

•notify customers of protocols via social media and other marketing.

•suspend education booths, cooking demos and other programming that encourages interaction.

•clean and sanitize all market booths using appropriate protocol.

Vendors will:

•not attend the market if ill.

•wash hands frequently. Gloves are encouraged and facemasks are required.

•make efforts to have one person to manage payment transactions and another to handle products. “This is a best-management practice for all market days, but is particularly critical now,” organizers said. “If not possible, vendors should wash hands in-between handling money and produce.”

•utilize contact-free forms of payment where possible.

•continue to handle produce and prepared food using best-management practices for food safety.

•clean and sanitize tables and other supplies that come into contact with food.

•All prepared foods will be packaged to go.

•Pre-packaging food is encouraged.

•avoid offering food samples

•direct customers to point to selections rather than touch food items.

Customers will:

•continue to practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of six feet from market vendors and other customers.

•Enter vendor booths one at a time.

•point to selections rather than touch food items.

•use contact-free forms of payment when possible.

PROPER CLEANING PROTOCOLS

According to organizers, vendors must clean and sanitize their supplies and equipment regularly:

•For surfaces that will be in contact with food or food products (such as produce bins, coolers, boxes, tools), use detergents and sanitizing solutions that are food-safe:

1. Clean the surface with a detergent (for example, Dawn dish detergent) and rinse thoroughly.

2. Use a sanitizer product that is approved for use on food contact surfaces.

3. Follow the label instructions for the sanitizer you use when mixing, applying and storing it. Some sanitizers require contact time on the surface to be effective, and others require a rinse step.

4. Allow the surface to air-dry.

•To clean and sanitize surfaces that will not come into contact with food or food products (such as chairs, tables, truck beds):

1. Clean the surface with a detergent (for example, Dawn dish detergent) and rinse thoroughly.

2. Use a product that the EPA has approved for use against viruses and other emerging pathogens.

3. Follow the label instructions for the sanitizer you use when mixing, applying and storing it. Some sanitizers require contact time on the surface to be effective, and others require a rinse step.

4. Allow the surface to air-dry. Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.

Organizers also have provided food farm safety resources. For more information, go to the Barrow County Farmers Market Facebook page.

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