University of Maryland Extension

Fruits and Vegetables

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

No license is required to sell fresh, whole, raw fruits and vegetables.  Increasingly farmers may be required by institutional, retail, and wholesale buyers to be GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified.  FDA and USDA set grade and pack standards and regulations for large producer/distributors of fruits and vegetables.

Salad greens may present confusion.  No license/inspection is required if the product is labeled “wash before eating” and is a whole leaf or plant product, and/or if seeds are mixed at planting (rather than leaves mixed after harvest).  A license/inspection is required if leaves are mixed after harvest, the product is cut up or chopped, and the product is labeled “ready to eat.”

Processed Fruits and Vegetables

FDA and USDA food safety regulations apply to processed foods.  Processed foods include minimally processed fruits and vegetables (e.g., cut melon, peeled squash, husked corn) jams, salsa, sauces, dried fruits, dried herbs, teas, cider, blended salad greens, condiments and spreads, canned or frozen food, etc.  In Maryland, DHMH licenses processors of fruits and vegetables.

In Maryland, home kitchens may produce jams and jellies for sale only at farmers' markets.  Home kitchens are not allowed to produce and sell acidified foods.  Home kitchens are not licensed or inspected.

On-farm kitchens may produce and sell jams, jellies, and some acidified foods.  However, for acidified foods FDA training is required (Better Process School), and a process authority or person who is trained and certified by FDA, must authorize the recipe and process.  This food may be sold anywhere in the state.

Government Resources

MDA

EPA

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