Fair food checked for safety

Wednesday, September 10th 2008, 5:50 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma State Fair begins Thursday, and with the amount of fair favorites like Indian tacos and funnel cakes consumed each year, health inspectors checked this year's food for safety.

Oklahoma City County Health Department Gary Rutherford assured each food vendor, over 100 in all, attended a food safety training class.

"It's the worst possible thing it could happen to a food facility to have a food-borne illness occur," Rutherford said. "We do expect the basic sanitation principles adhered to at the fair."

Although the food stands are not restaurants, the rules they abide by are just as strict.

"We have to be extra careful because we're dealing with a mixed population," vendor Shannon Long said. "You're going to have elderly people her, children here."

Long, who will operate Sammy's Pizza at the fair, has children and understands the risks of running a food business.

"We've been in business for about 30 years here," Long said.

The veteran vendor said he also knows the importance of safe food handling practices.

"I'm absolutely confident that the food is safe here at the fair," Long said.

The list of precautions the inspectors evaluate the vendors by include washing hands and proper cooking temperatures.

The gates will open Thursday at 8 a.m. and the vendors will open for business at 10 a.m.