Health Department Permits

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if anyone here could offer any insight into this.

    I want to sell my meat at a neighboring county's farmers market. I have to get a permit from that county's health department. I totally fine with that and have no objection to being inspected, etc. They have already issued me a permit, but since my establishment is not within the county, it is a temporary permit which only allows me to show up 14 times. I will only be allowed to show up for less than half the market times.

    I am thinking that maybe this isn't exactly what they had in mind when they made the rules. The type of permit I have is more for corn-dog vendors at a special event, rather than a farmer who is selling their products. I am thinking that if I am allowed a chance to state my case, then perhaps they will allow me to sell for the entire farmer's market season, like the folks who are selling tomatoes, etc.

    Before I go about this, I would like to know if people who sell produce are also required to have permits from health departments to sell at farmer's markets. I know that states and counties will vary, but I'd like a general idea.

    I would also like to know if anyone has ever had any experience in asking for a variance with a health department. I am not angry about this at all...I just feel the unusual nature of my business has caused me to fall through the cracks and thus be unintentionally penalized by the 14 day limit. I plan to keep a very nice attitude as I attempt to change this, but I do plan on changing it!

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    Jena
     
  2. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    I would imagine if your meat was slaughtered and butchered at a USDA inspected facility you would not have a problem.
     

  3. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to guess that selling raw meat at a market would not be allowed. Of course I'm in NY. Why not sell your meat from pictures and don't deal with the county for permits. Send or deliver right to the people's homes after you get the orders. Make up some flyers with description and picture of your stuff, spelling out the freshness and quality of it verse store bought. IMO
     
  4. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most of our local markets do not allow vendors from neighboring counties and none allow raw meats, so 14 market dates would be a very good deal. Perhaps you can apply for another temp permit when this one expires. Also you may find after 14 market dates that you already have enough customers who would buy direct, or that you do not wish to sell at that market any longer.
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    All my meat is USDA inspected and pre-packaged (the processor packages it, I don't).

    If I don't have a permit, I can't deliver in that county either.

    I can't believe a market could disallow raw meat altogether. If I were there, I'd raise a stink over that one! I'm only allowed one permit a year.

    Jena
     
  6. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Jena
    What county? The Lincoln square farmers market in Urbana on Sat. has vendors from dif. counties. One is from Moultrie and some are from counties to the north so it must not be the same in all counties.
    Mr. Wanda
    Mike
     
  7. BrushBuster

    BrushBuster Well-Known Member

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    i would think that it is more of a buisness license issue. because if it is usda inspected that means it's approved by the federal government. and they ship meat all over the country to be distributed in different areas. your county and every other included. there may be some restriction in your particular county with farmers markets maybe? but alot of the farmers markets in big cities have produce trucked in from out of state. i used to own a convienence store and bought usda inspected meat from a few small producers. i think they were operating under a wholesalers license. they had a very good buissness selling to deli's and restuarants. and if there is some kind of restriction there, you could always sell wholesale to someone at the farmers market and let them do the actual sell to the end consumer.
     
  8. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Down here, yes, a person is required to have a permit to sell ANYTHING, including produce at the farmer's market (it's really a flea market here but, they do sell produce). A lot of places make it hard to do business. Seems they are more interested in big business than small ones...
     
  9. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Coles. They have a market in Charleston.

    I was going to do Champaign/Urbana, but I decided to stick closer to home.

    Each county can do what they want. I guess they have a health inspector at every market in Charleston...here they do not.

    Jena
     
  10. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Jena
    You might drive to Urbana on an early Sat. morn to check it out. There is a large base of people that are willing to pay quality price for quality goods :cool: We have friends that haul peaches from south of Salem up and they are usualy sold out by 8 or 9 because of tremendous repeat sales which is what makes a good market :D I drive Georgetown to Urbana in about 40 min. so it may not take as long as you think!
    Mr. Wanda
    Mike
     
  11. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    What about a business licence. It should make a permit not needed, if you have a business licence. We have meat venders at out local farmers market ( i am in MO) they sell, bison and someone was there selling beef saturday. I believe the are just usda inspected and have a business licence. The ones that sell the bison also sell meat in town at a "store" and the others sell meat off of their farm but both have a "business". We work in neighboring counties and have to obtain a business licence in those areas to work...so you should be able to do that even if you are not in that county.

    Belinda
     
  12. sugarspinner

    sugarspinner Well-Known Member

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    I stand amazed that you're allowed to sell raw meat at all! Our farmers' markets do not allow raw meat, eggs unless they're very cold and candled, milk or cheese, anything that's been prepared in any way beyond picking and washing. We couldn't even take our maple syrup and honey this year, tho we had in past years, because of tightened rules. This all makes for a somewhat boring farmers' market.

    We recently did the "jump thru the hoops" thing, in triplicate, to grind and sell cornmeal at the state fair. Oh my! I can't even imagine the problems with meat. Now that we've jumped through all those hoops, tho, I suspect we'll take our pile of papers and head out to other festivals, etc.

    I can see why you're fighting this but, having butted my head against bureaucracy in the past, I think I'd grab the 14 days and be happy.
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Holy molly and some call Canada comunist! I can be inspected at any time but there's no permits or problems selling raw meat here. Killed in an inspected plant and I can't cut or package on site but as long as it's in a cooler or freezer I'm fine. Your certain you need any permit? Doesn't sound like you have the correct one at least. You're not preparing meats or cooking........
     
  14. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I'm doing exactly what you are doing (sounds like anyways). I take a steer, a hog or a bunch of chickens into an inspected plant. I come back later and get little packages. I put them in a freezer. Someone gives me money and I take it out of the freezer and hand it to them.

    Jena
     
  15. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Mike,

    I thought of doing Urbana, but that is the same time as our local market. I decided to give ours a shot and I'm glad I did. The response has been great and I like participating in my own community.

    BTW, to sell at the Urbana market, you have to pay a one-time fee of $50 so they can come out and verify that you are really raising what you say you are. I can understand the need for that, but it's pretty sad that they have to do that. They also have a bunch of other rules that sound like there were created to solve problems. I understand that too, but I like our market. You show up, you sell, you go home. No complaints, not petty fighting stuff...it's what I would like to think a farmer's market would be.

    Jena
     
  16. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    So what's the permit for? I'm not limited inany way, except for exporting from the country then it has to go through a federal plant. I can sell anywhere in Canada no problem. Certainly our farmers markets here encourage meat sales.