With the Spring and Summer seasons come seasonal farmer’s markets, and Cobb County is known for its variety of markets. Farmer’s markets provide a great opportunity to support local businesses while enjoying a nice time with family and friends. They’re great ways to shop for fresh foods, handmade crafts, or enjoy the entertainment and atmosphere present in most markets. The AJC produces a list of the many farmer’s markets in the area.
Despite the excitement and fun that goes along with farmer’s markets, there can be opportunity for personal injury at markets as well. Whether the injury is from a slip and fall or food poisoning from a contaminated produce, the risks are certainly present. Below are a few tips to be mindful of when attending farmer’s markets:
- Crowds and vehicles. Farmer’s markets can get very crowded and are many times confined to a small area. This limited amount of space paired with a crowd and traffic can increase the risk of personal injury and property damage. Always be mindful of those around you, especially when vehicles are involved.
- Trip hazards. There are often trip hazards present at farmer’s markets, such as electrical cords, table cloths, uneven grounds, pallets, and more. It can be easy to slip and fall with all those dangers. Trip hazards combined with crowded areas can drastically increase the risk of a fall. Such falls can result in minor injury, or they can result in more significant damages such as broken bones or head injuries. Always watch where you’re walking and be aware of trip hazards.
- Food sampling. While taste testing can be one of the most exciting parts of farmer’s markets, food sampling also poses risks. Those many different flavors of homemade jam or barbeque sauce can be accidentally contaminated without the manufacturer noticing at the time of production. Preparing and processing is an important step in getting the food ready, and any misstep can lead to serious consequences. For example, if an animal contaminates a berry field, and that field is used to create a homemade berry jam, the entire batch of jam could be contaminated and cause food poisoning. Always be mindful of the background of the vendor and understand that sampling should only take place when all proper steps are involved.
- Animals present at markets. Pets are not always allowed at farmer’s markets, and though this may seem unusual, there’s good reason. Some cities, per their city code, do not allow dogs or other animals in areas that contain fresh produce and vegetables. The risk of contamination from the animal is too great to risk. Another risk to consider anytime dogs are in large crowds is that of a dog attack. Even the most well-behaved dog can be triggered by a young child aggravating it, or a large number of people causing it to be overwhelmed. In these situations, dogs sometimes react out of instinct.
Attending a local Cobb County farmer’s market is a great way to support local businesses and enjoy the community. But please be mindful of the personal injury risks that can be associated with farmer’s markets and large groups of people.