How Street and Farmers’ Market Vendors Can Protect Themselves From Evolving Health Risks

Outdoor food vendors may pose less risk of transmitting illnesses due to the constant flow of fresh air and increased availability of ready-to-eat meals, pre-ordering systems, delivery or drive-thru options, and phone and mobile ordering.

Despite these measures, street and farmers’ market vendors must continue to take precautions to protect against ongoing health risks like COVID-19, especially when using shared equipment and interacting with a high daily volume of customers.

How To Safely Conduct Sreet Vendor, Food Truck, and Farmers’ Market Operations Given Ongoing Health Risks

Farmers’ markets and street vendors face many tough questions about how to protect their customers from ongoing health risks, including:

  • How can we protect our employees, customers, and passers-by from spreading illness at a street vendor, food truck, or farmers’ market?

  • What do we do if a customer is sick or not following our safety protocols?

  • How can fresh foods be protected against airborne diseases while on display for sale?

With these questions in mind, AIHA has created this “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” to offer practical advice for street vendors, food truck workers, and farmers market sellers to reduce the risk of transmitting illnesses like COVID-19. The guidance borrows from the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and expert advice from leading health, government, and farmers’ market organizations.

These guidelines share actionable steps to protect street vendors and customers, including information on the following key areas:

What should a street vendor, food truck or stand owner, or farmers’ market vendor do to protect themselves and their customers against the spread of illness?

  • How to enable physical distancing at a farmers’ market or street vendor setting, including the need to provide a minimum of 10 feet between vendors and reconfiguring the market into an “L” shape if possible

  • Ways to limit farmers’ market shoppers from touching products for sale and whether to offer samples

  • Guidance on if pets should be allowed at a farmer’s market

  • Recommendations for how to adjust food truck or street vendor sales, including changes to a vendor’s ordering system and the use of no-touch payment processing

  • Enhanced cleaning practices for street vendors and farmers’ markets, including a list of products approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Advice on how to disinfect farmers’ market food before selling or eating it

  • Recommended PPE for street vendor employees and customers

What should a street vendor customer do to minimize the transmission of COVID-19?

  • Self-monitoring best practices and when to stay home

  • Best practices for children at farmers’ markets or street vendors to protect them from illness

  • The importance of regularly washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer

  • What to do if you feel the urge to sneeze or cough while at a farmers’ market or street vendor

Download our “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” today to learn how to engage in street vendor operations safely.