Colorado

Aug 22, 2014 7:37 PM by Eric Ross

Health inspectors keep eye on food vendors at state fair

You can find almost anything and everything at the Colorado State Fair. Health inspectors are out in full force this weekend, making sure vendors are following safety code laws.

Health specialists reported no major violations when we shadowed them Friday afternoon.

More than 70 vendors set up shop at the fair this weekend, many of whom have been coming here for years.

"We have been here 26 years," Stephanie, a local vendor said.

From fried pickles to sweet corn and funell cake, the fair offers something for everyone.

"We've done pretty good selling funell cakes," vendor Greg Dalton said.

With so many different vendors coupled with thousands of people, health inspectors are on alert.

"The potential risk is high," health specialist Alejandro Verma with the Pueblo City-County Health Department said. "We want to make sure everything is maintained and those risks don't become reality."

Lerma inspected vendors Friday afternoon to make sure hot and cold foods are being kept at proper temperatures, a common violation in the restaurant industry which can have severe consequences.

"You risk the potential of growing organisms or bacteria that can make you sick and lead to foodborne illness," Lerma said.

More than a half dozen inspectors will hit the streets at the fair each morning, making sure employees are handling foods properly and ensuring there's adequete sanitation stations.

Vendors like Stephanie appreciate heallth inspectors looking out for the public and believes there's no cause for concern.

"I absolutely say it's safe to eat at the fair," she said. "We are inspected every single day.

The Pueblo City-County Health Department asks you to watch the vendors making your food and to report violations immediately to them.

"Every food vendor wants to succeed and we want them to," Lerma said. "We want to help by flagging problems they may not know exist.

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