East Devon District Council

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Guide Farmers' market stalls

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6. Giving away sample product

Giving away tasting samples is a good way to get customer attention. However, the law treats this sale and the food must meet the legal standards.

Samples must be protected from contamination such as undue handling, so ensure samples are stored high up away from children.

If your customers have to handle food, try and make sure they don't touch other samples on the plate - cocktail sticks or tongs help to stop this.

Most importantly, don't leave food that must be chilled for safety reasons out of chill control for long periods, keep quantities to a minimum and throw out uneaten food if it has been out of refrigeration for a long time. The maximum is four hours, but as in these circumstances it can be easy for the food to be contaminated, it is best if high-risk food is disposed of after one hour out of chill control.

You may find your local market has its own conditions about food samples and they may not be permitted. This is at the discretion of the market organiser rather than any national legal requirement.