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County, State Inspecting Fair Food and Rides

Updated: Thursday, August 7 2014, 11:05 AM CDT
Inspectors for the Sangamon county department of public health and the
Illinois department of labor were making rounds Wednesday, checking to
make sure everything is clean and safe for the start of the fair on
Thursday.

With hundreds of thousands of people coming through,
ready to eat anything with the word fried, battered, or bacon in it -
hygiene is a must. So whether you make cheese steaks, fried cheese cake,
bacon on a stick, or corn dogs, the Sangamon County health inspectors
are going to check out your stand.

"Depending on the menu, really
dictates on how tough the stand is," said Allen Alexander, the Sangamon
County director of environmental health. "Generally with corn dogs and
funnel cakes it shouldn't be too bad."

They check for a variety
of health and hygiene issues. The most common violations are handwashing
and improper storage or cooking temperatures.

The health
inspectors say Thursday is going to be their big push when they start to
inspect the rest of the roughly 200 food vendors.    Though there will
be followups, too, the health department plans to finish all of its
initial inspections on Friday.

Vose Corn Dogs were one of a
handful of vendors to get a health inspection on Wednesday. They passed
with "flying colors," but the inspectors say that's not atypical."

"They
always do amazing," said health inspector, Adrienne McNamara. "They've
been around for several years. So they know the  drill."

"We don't want anyone to be sick," said Sandy Orr, who was working the stand. "So, we follow the rules."

The
county says there aren't usually many violations since many vendors
already know the drill. Every food vendor has to take a class on food
safety at the fair before they can operate. If they don't, they are kept
from opening up shop.

It's not the only thing that needs
inspecting though. Over at the midway, each ride will be looked over
before the fair starts, as well as multiple times throughout the fair.

"We
have little kids riding on the rides. We don't find it mundane or
tedious," said Ryan Culton of the Amusement Ride Safety Division.

But
riders have their own responsibilities to stay safe. Parents should
keep their children off a ride if they seem frightened before getting on
it.

And we don't want them exiting the ride trying to wiggle out, getting loose from the safety restraints," Culton said.

Instead, maybe take them for some food. Just make sure the stand has been inspected.County, State Inspecting Fair Food and Rides


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