VFM Statement Regarding Microbiological Survey of Locally Grown Lettuce Sold at Farmers’ Markets

Findings of a 2012 research study by a UBC Land and Food Systems Masters Student was recently released on the UBC Website. (LINK)

Though the research for this study was conducted in more than 2 years ago at five unidentified farmers markets in Vancouver, we take food safety concerns seriously.

The study shows that lettuce from farmers markets was healthy and below the CFIA safety standards, which are some of the best standards in the world.

We work closely with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure all food at our markets meets the highest safety standards. We’re thankful that in 20 years of operation, we’ve never been made aware of any illnesses related to fresh food at the markets.

This seems to be a preliminary study and offers no scientifically corroborated findings. If further study leads to any conclusive findings leading to safer markets, we welcome it. To reiterate, the study indicates that lettuce is within food safety guidelines — a conclusion that can be made about most commercially available fresh food.

Farmers Markets are still the most transparent and direct way for consumers to purchase fresh food. If unsafe bacteria are ever detected, the source can be located quickly, and corrected immediately. The best way to learn more about the food you’re eating is to talk directly to the farmer you’re buying from.