Vendor Food Guidelines

The sale of food at the Mountain Market is guided by The Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets produced by the Food Protection Services BC Centre for Disease Control. This document divides food sold at temporary food markets into two categories, high risk and low risk.

Learn more about the Interior Health permit process by clicking here

Lower Risk Food means food in a form or state that is not capable of supporting the growth of disease-causing organisms or the production of toxins. Vendors are allowed to sell home-prepared, lower risk foods at temporary food markets without contacting or receiving approval by the local Health Authority. All of lower risk foods should be prepackaged except whole fresh fruits or vegetables. Click here to review a list of Lower Risk Food

Higher Risk Food means food in a form or state which is capable of supporting growth of disease causing microorganisms, or the production of toxins. Vendors must not sell foods that are considered higher risk unless approved to do so by the local Health Authority. All higher risk foods must be maintained at 4°C or colder from the point of packaging through to sale to the consumer. Please contact an Environmental Health Officer at 250-420-2220.

To sell any food products (excluding whole fresh fruits or vegetables) at the Fernie Mountain Market you must provide us with:

  • A list of foods (and their ingredients) being sold.
  • A letter of acceptance and confirmation from the IHA if selling any high risk foods

Food vendors must also ensure that:

  • Food handlers observe good personal hygiene
  • Food products are protected from sources of contamination at all times.
  • Display cases, counters and shelves are made from easily cleanable material, maintained in good condition and cleaned as often as necessary.
  • A satisfactory means of cleaning hands and utensils is provided including running water, soap in a dispenser and single-use towels should be provided.
  • A 22.7 liter (5 gal) plastic water jug with spigot is generally acceptable as the water source.

Included below are a few of the main points of the the Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets document.

All food vendors (any vendor selling any high risk food items) must obtain approval from the local Health Authority's Environmental Health Officer. before being able to sell at the Mountain Market. The Health Authority will issue a letter of acceptance for an approved application. To participate in the Mountain Market, a copy of this letter of approval must be submitted to the Mountain Market Coordinator as well as a list of all foods intending to be sold.

Generally applications should be submitted to at least 30 days prior to commencement of the market/sales [Our nearest Health Inspection Office is located at #103 – 1700 4th Street South, Cranbrook, BC V1C 6E1, Phone: (250) 420-2220, Fax: (250) 426-3022.

NOTE:Vendors who sell ONLY fresh whole fruits and vegetables (with no sampling) are not required to submit an application, and do not require a letter of acceptance, but must still follow food sales guidelines.

Food Sales
Food products should be protected from sources of contamination at all times, including contact by pets, during storage and display at the market. A satisfactory means of cleaning hands and utensils need to be provided.

NOTE: Restaurants wanting to participate at Mountain Market events must secure a Temporary Food Permit from IHA to prepare food onsite.

Food Safe
The Mountain Market recommends that all food vendors complete the FOODSAFE Level 1 program. This course covers safe food handling techniques and includes microbiology, food-borne illness, personal hygiene, receiving, storing, serving and dispensing food, food protection, preparation and diswashing. Course graduates receive a Level 1 certificate from Interior Health, it is required by the Ministry of Health to work in the food service industry. The course is offered at the College of the Rockies or you can also take the course online

Market Safe
is a food safety training program for farmers and producers who make, bake or grow products to sell at local farmers' markets, farm gates or other types of temporary food markets. MarketSafe was developed by the BC FOODSAFE Secretariat in partnership with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, and is supported by the Regional Health Authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.

The Interior Health Authority is the regulating body for food safety in our region.

Food Samples

  • At the market, food samples for tasting should be individually portioned (e.g. in paper cups, on toothpicks) and not offered as bulk items.
  • In order to minimize direct food handling at the market (with the exception of fresh fruits and vegetables) food samples intended for tasting at the market should be portioned and packed at the home kitchen.
  • A washing station must be provided if food sampling is taking place