Food Sales at Farmers' Markets and Similar Direct-to-Consumer Outlets

Retail food sales are regulated by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The objective is to ensure that all foods offered for sale are safe and wholesome. For additional information please view Farmers' Markets in Kansas.

The direct-to-consumer sale of foods that do not require temperature control for safety or specialized processing is allowed at farmers' markets and similar locations without a food establishment license. Internet sales, including shipping, are also allowed under this license exemption, subject to the receiving states' requirements.

Allowed exempt foods include baked goods, such as cookies, breads, cakes, cinnamon rolls and fruit pies; fresh fruits and vegetables; nuts; and honey. Foods that are not allowed under the license exemption are commonly called non-exempt foods and are foods that require temperature control for safety or specialized processing.

  • Home-grown produce may be sold, provided that any pesticide (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) use complies with label directions. KDA recommends following Good Agricultural Practices. More information is available here.
  • Packaged products should be labeled with the common name of the product, and the name and address of the producer.
  • Ready-to-eat, non-exempt foods may only be sold from a vendor operating in compliance with all applicable regulations.
  • The sale of non-exempt foods is prohibited without a food establishment license.
  • Ungraded eggs may be sold by small producers (51 to 250 hens) if maintained at 45°F or less. Very small producers (1-50 hens) do not have to maintain eggs at 45°F or less, but it is strongly recommended to reduce the chance of illness. More information about egg sales is available here.
  • Home-canned products, except traditional jams and jellies, are prohibited without proper licensing.
  • All foods on sale or display must be effectively protected from contamination.

The sale of non-exempt foods is restricted to protect the public from foodborne illness. Non-exempt foods, which are foods that require temperature control for safety or specialized processing, consist in whole or in part of milk, milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, sprouts, cut leafy greens, heat treated vegetables, heat treated starches and cut produce. Examples include:

  • cream or meringue pies
  • cheesecake
  • custards
  • cream filled cupcakes/donuts
  • hamburger and hot dogs
  • burritos
  • egg rolls
  • jerky
  • summer sausage or similar products
  • cut melons
  • canned vegetables
  • pickles
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • cut or torn lettuce
  • cut tomatoes

For more detailed information, please read Food Safety for Direct to Consumer Sales from the K-State Research and Extension Bookstore.

Additional information about Direct-to-Consumer sales of exempt foods is available in this presentation.