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posted May 18, 2006

Farmers' markets exempt from regulations

Broadcast News
Published: Thursday, May 18, 2006

TORONTO -- People who sell homemade goods at farmers' markets and roadside stands will have some extra breathing space this summer from Ontario health inspectors.

Health Minister George Smitherman says the government has decided to exempt farmers' markets from provincial food safety regulations.

The markets were covered by the same regulation governing restaurants and grocery stores, which Smitherman says proved difficult from an enforcement point of view.

He says the rule also failed to acknowledge what the government considers to be the "distinct nature of farmers' markets.''

Conservative critic Bob Runciman says the government backed off what he calls a "wrong headed'' crack down by health inspectors on jams and pies sold at farmers' markets.

Smitherman says public health officials in Ontario will spend the summer educating vendors about food safety rather than enforcing the food safety rules.

Broadcast News 2006

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