Farmers' Markets are locations or events where local farmers sell a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other farm products to the public. In addition, to produce, you may find other food products like honey, ciders, cheese, eggs, and meat at a farmers' market each from local producers. The Porter County Health Department Food Service Division works with the Market Masters and conducts inspections during the market season to ensure food safety and permitting requirements are met. Vendors offering only whole, uncut fruits and vegetables, honey and syrup, and other very low-risk foods are exempt from permitting as a Retail Food Establishment.
Home Based Vendors
On July 01, 2022, the Indiana State Legislature passed the House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1149 (PDF), which takes the place of the previous HEA 1309. In HEA 1149, Home Based Vendors (HBVs) offering applicable foods for sale are excluded from the definition of a "food establishment". A Home Based Vendor may prepare and sell certain food products that do not present a significant public health risk without permitting or inspection. The Home Based Vendor must practice proper food safety procedures, including proper hand washing, sanitation of food contact surfaces, and safe storage of food products, including protection during display and service. Porter County Health Department may inspect food products and labeling to ensure that the Home Based Vendor is maintaining their exemption status and may inspect the Home Based Vendor’s home kitchen in case of a complaint.
Home Based Vendor Overview
- A Home Based Vendor may only sell their food products directly to the end consumer-NO WHOLESALE, NO RESALE.
- Home Based Vendor foods may now be sold at a roadside stand-visible and no more than 100 feet from the side of the road, markets, farmer’s markets, events, fairs, and festivals, and advertise online to offer pick-up, delivery, or shipment within the state of IN only.
- The production area of a Home Based Vendor is required to be in the vendor's primary residence and will not be routinely inspected, but may require inspection in the event of a consumer complaint.
- ALL Home Based Vendors must obtain a Food Handler Certificate from a certificate issuer that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Upon receipt of the certificate, a copy shall be provided to the local health department where the Home Based Vendor resides.
- The Home Based Vendor cannot commingle the activities of a Home Based Vendor and those of a regulated food establishment. If the Home Based Vendor sells food products other than those produced in the home, such as commercially prepared foods, then it becomes a "food establishment". A vendor must be designated as either a Home Based Vendor or a food establishment – not both.
- All home-based vendor food products must have proper labeling which states:
- Producer's name and address
- The common name of food product
- Ingredients of food product
- Net weight and volume
- Date food product was processed
- The following statement in at least 10 point type: "This product is home produced and processed and the production area has not been inspected by the State Department of Health. NOT FOR RESALE" Note: This labeling must be present with and/or on the food at the point of sale regardless of whether or not the food is packaged. Unpackaged food, such as some baked goods, will be considered labeled when there is easily readable signage accompanying the food product stating all of the above-listed items. Labeling is not required for whole, uncut produce.
The table below provides some examples of foods that may or may not be produced and sold under the home-based vendor exemption.
Examples of Foods that May Be and May Not Be Sold by HBVs
|Food Type||Foods That May Be Sold||Foods That May Not be Sold|
|Baked Goods||Cookies, cakes, fruit pies, cupcakes, bars, yeast bread, fruit bread, baguettes||Foods that contain meat, poultry, aquatic animals, non-dairy (cheese, butter, yogurt), non-baked egg-containing products, and whole eggs|
|Candies and Confections||Caramels, chocolate fudge, peanut brittle, chocolate-covered fruits, bonbons, buckeyes, chocolate-covered nuts|
|Fruits and Vegetables||
Unprocessed, whole, and uncut items such as cherries, blackberries, cranberries, grapefruit, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, plums, tomatoes, corn, lettuce, green beans, peppers, etc.|
Fruit-based jams and jellies (made from strawberries, blueberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, etc.) Fermented pickles do not require acidification and do not require refrigeration.
Canned products that are shelf-stable and in hermetically sealed containers such as salsas, chutney, chow-chow, and canned vegetables.|
Pickled vegetables (beets, pickles) that are shelf-stable
Cut tomatoes and cut melons
Garlic in oil mixtures, herb and oil mixtures
Raw seed sprouts
Fruit butter (i.e. pear, pumpkin) "low sugar" or "no sugar added" jellies and jams
|Meat, Poultry, and Seafood||None identified.||Canned products that are shelf-stable and in hermetically sealed containers such as canned vegetables, canned meats, and canned seafood.|
|Tree Nuts and Legumes||Peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, etc.|
|Syrups||Honey, molasses, sorghum, maple syrup|
Farmers' Market and Home-Based Vendor Regulations. Guidance Documents, and Rules & Regulations
- HEA 1309 Home Based Vendor Rule and ISDH Guidance (2009) (PDF)
- IC 16-42-11 Indiana Egg Law (PDF)
- Guidelines for Labeling Eggs – Indiana State Egg Board (PDF)
- Requirements for Shell Eggs Sold at Farmers Market (PDF)
- Farmers Market Guide – Animal Products (PDF)
- Farmers Market Guide – Non-Animal Products (PDF)
- Sale of Meat, Rabbit, and Poultry at Farmers Market (PDF)
- Board of Animal Health (BOAH) Poultry Guidelines (PDF)
- BOAH Food Safety Advisory – Raw Milk/Dairy Products (PDF)
- ISDH Guide on Frozen Meat, Poultry, Rabbit (PDF)
- ISDH Guide on Cider Production (PDF)
- ISDH Guide on Honey Production (PDF)
- ISDH Guide on Maple Syrup Production (PDF)
- ISDH Guide on Sorghum Production (PDF)
- ISDH Guide on Uncut Fresh Produce (PDF)
- Temporary Food Vendor Guidelines (PDF)
- Wild Mushrooms - ISDH
Farmers' Market Contact Information
- Porter County Health Department – Food Service Division
(219) 465-3525 option 4
- Board of Animal Health
- Indiana State Egg Board
- Indiana State Department of Health – Food Protection Program
- Purdue University Food Science
– Product Testing
- Porter County Purdue Extension
- USDA Agricultural Service