Don’t forget food safety this summer

Photo: jjshaw14/iStockphoto

Summer festivals, carnivals and fairs mean fun – and food! Cotton candy, corndogs, kettle corn and deep-fried candy bars are just a few of the treats you’re likely to find. But when making your choices, take a few moments to think about food safety.

“Sometimes the usual safety controls that a kitchen provides, like monitoring of food temperatures, refrigeration, workers trained in food safety and washing facilities, may not be available when cooking and dining at fairs and festivals,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

When you stop at a vendor’s booth or table, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the area clean?
  • Do I see a sink for employees to wash their hands?
  • Are the workers wearing gloves or using tongs when handling food?
  • Does the vendor’s booth have a refrigerator for items that need to stay cold?
  • Does the vendor have visible signage stating they’ve been inspected and approved to distribute food? The rules vary, the CDC says, but temporary and mobile vendors should have a license to sell food items in a specific state or county for an established amount of time.

And make sure to wash your own hands often!

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