Penn State University conducted a recent study on the safety of food purchased at farmers markets in the state. The trade publication Food Safety News reports that researchers found evidence of food safety problems over the course of the five-year study.
The Penn State report on the findings says, “Researchers checked select samples of leafy green produce and meat obtained from farmers markets in Pennsylvania for the presence of hygiene indicators, such as coliforms, fecal coliforms, Listeria, and E Coli. What they found was cause for concern.” The study reported that E Coli was present in 40 percent of beef tested, 18 percent of pork, 28 percent of kale, 29 percent of lettuce, and 17 percent of spinach.
The study also found that vendors at farmers markets were found to demonstrate insufficient or high-risk behaviors in areas like hand washing, personal hygiene, and cross-contamination.