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Is the City of Dallas Health Department Shutting Down Local Farmers Markets?

PeoplePower-756803I’ve been hearing rumors for weeks that city officials were making the rounds and visiting the small farmers markets that have cropped up in spots such as Celebration, Bolsa, and North Haven Gardens. Now comes official word from Ed Lowe of Celebration. They have shut him down and he’s going to the Dallas City Council.

The City of Dallas Health Department has decided that the Celebration Farmers Market is in violation of certain codes. Celebration was told on 2 previous occasions that we could operate a Farmers Market in our parking lot under our existing permits. We strongly believe that all food handling practices and food products at the Farmers Market were perfectly safe. We have complied strictly with all Health Department codes for 38 years and take our responsibility to public health VERY SERIOUSLY.

We appreciate the warm welcome and support that you’ve provided our Saturday Farmers Market. We believe that what we along with our wonderful vendors are offering is a safe, fun and convenient setting for you to purchase healthy, delicious, local produce and other products.

We are going to approach the Dallas City Council to explore how the code can be modified to allow the Celebration Farmers Markets and others like us to provide a valuable service to the citizens of Dallas while protecting the public health.

I have contacted Ed and asked him for instructions on how you can sign the petition he plans to take to the Dallas City Council. Stay tuned. (OMG, I can hear Amy Severson already.)

15 comments on “Is the City of Dallas Health Department Shutting Down Local Farmers Markets?

  1. Did you know or, more to the point, do the people of The City of Allen know, that meat sales are totally banned at their farmer’s market? Allen residents have to go to Frisco farmer’s market to buy meat, sausages, etc.

    If the people of Allen knew this I have no doubt that the ordinance would be overturned in an instant as there is no health-related reason for it with modern refrigeration technology.

  2. The sad thing is that the City is doing it on dubious legal grounds hoping that no one will call their bluff on it.

  3. Is anyone surprised that the City of Dallas is trying to shut down competitors to its own Farmer(less) Market?

  4. I don’t think the City is trying to limit competition – the health department is just as obstinate with the vendors downtown as with the smaller markets. And to be fair, we wouldn’t want a city with NO health codes or without an enforcement agency to make sure these are adhered to.

    However, there is no denying that there is a popularity of these smaller neighborhood markets among the populace, and to shut them down is to foment irritation and ill will among the voters that attend. Can they really be any less worse (I know, a horrible term, but better eludes me right now) than the catering trucks that ply their trade around the city? They seem to have no problem getting a health certificate (at least I think most of them do…..maybe not?)

  5. I wish the Health Department would shut down that big pothole on N.W. HWY and Buckner. It is very hazardous to our health and I do not think the city has a permit for it to exist.

  6. Fascinating how you expect the “government” to keep you from getting sick or dying from eating bad food, yet you bitch loud and long when the “government” does its job. Whether it’s the FDA or the City Health Department, I would hope that food safety always trumps everything else.

  7. Let the uproar begin! If the City Health Department has decided to suddenly do its job, I suggest it start by citing the dozens of produce dealers at the Dallas Farmers Market offering, in the open air, “samples” of fruits and vegetables, brandishing blades inches from customers, including toddlers, in open, un-gloved hands and without hair restraint.

    If the Health Dept did that, perhaps the vendors might leave. Then we’d have a Dallas Farmers Market that has just…farmers. How’s ‘dem beans?

  8. Sounds like Uncle Tom has the Health department worried that they might be going the way of the city parks and senior centers if they don’t start generating some revenue for those shiny tourist friendly buildings and bridges (not to forget the toll roads). “Violations, writing more violations is the answer to the budget shortfall”

    It seems like the Health department is going the way of the Constables in the popularity stakes.

  9. To PotNet…. to think that the city is so organized that the Health Department would do something to support the Farmers Market is to give the City to much credit.

    As a matter of fact the Health Department hassles the vendors and farmers at the Farmers Market as well.

    People who are involved in various festivals say that the Dallas Health Department is far more difficult to work with than any other health department in the region.

  10. Please publish when and where we may sign the petition to re-open these fabulous neighborhood markets….ahhh….just when I was beginning to think Dallas could be a quaint place after all….