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Handling COVID-19: Guidance FAQ For Farm Stands



Authors as Published

Renee Boyer, Professor and Extension Specialist, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; and Ben Chapman, Professor and Food Safety Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University


  • Farmers and customers should not come to a farm stand if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or have come in contact with someone who is sick. Anyone displaying symptoms should be asked to leave.
  • Farmers displaying symptoms, or living with someone displaying symptoms, should not harvest or sell food.
  • Cloth face coverings should be worn by employees while working.
  • Farm stands should provide handwashing and/or hand sanitizer at entrances and register/cash box. If someone is staffing the farm stand they should use hand sanitizer after every transaction.
  • Avoid taking in cartons or containers that can't be cleaned and disinfected.
  • If possible, pre-portion or pre-package items in bags or cartons before they are sold.
  • Eggs should be sold in single-use containers.


  • Communicate with customers through signs or social media asking them to stay home if displaying symptoms.
  • Provide hand sanitizer at the front of the stand and near the cash box. Use signs to remind people to use sanitizer before shopping, before paying and after leaving.
  • Ask customers to only touch items that they intend to purchase.
  • Cloth face coverings should be encouraged for customer use, based on local guidance.


  • Use non-porous plastic tables that can be easily disinfected if possible.
  • Think about touch points throughout the stand like baskets, tables, cash boxes, etc. Eliminate or disinfect as frequently as possible, at least at the end of the day.
  • CDC is recommending use of disinfectants on the EPA list found at:
    • Note: this list is based on current data, but compounds have not been validated for inactivation of the virus causing COVID-19
    • Bleach may be used to disinfect surfaces, but the concentration is higher for COVID-19 than for everyday sanitation: 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water
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Updated April 27, 2020

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Publication Date

March 31, 2020