Fairs and Festivals: Don't Forget Food Safety!
By Sara Butler
Outdoor festivals and fairs are some of the best things about summer. There are always things to do and see -- and eat! But during the summer months, your chances of foodborne illness increase both at home and when you're out and about. Here's what you need to know to keep your family healthy as you explore outdoor festivals and fairs this summer.
Why Illness Spikes in Summer
So why does foodborne illness spike in the summer? It has to do with it just being so darn beautiful outside.
When you cook and eat outside more often (hello barbecue!), you lose control over food safety you normally have in a kitchen such as keeping food at a constant temperature, a place to wash your hands, and a refrigerator.
When You're at a Fair or Festival
At festivals and fairs, as you're trying to decide what to eat, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for that can let you know if the food is prepared and stored safely or if it isn't. Look for:
- A tidy and clean workstation where food is prepared
- A sink nearby for employees to wash their hands
- Employees wearing gloves and using tongs to handle food
- Refrigerators on site to store raw items
- A recent inspection report on display
If you want to go the extra mile, you can check with your local health department to ensure the vendors at the festival or fair are licensed and have had a recent food inspection.
Try to Keep It Healthy
Sure, it's cool to try the latest deep-fried creation at your local county fair, and indulgences are part of a balanced diet, but try to keep it healthy this summer. Seek out the healthy options (grilled corn on the cob, anyone?) and mix in a few of those with your treats. If you bring food from home, don't forget to keep it stored in a cool place and follow your own best food handling practices.
Summertime is almost here but nothing puts a damper on summer fun quite like foodborne illness. If you eat at a fair or festival and get sick, make sure to report it to your local health department so they can do something about it. In the meantime, stay healthy and enjoy all the things the season will have to offer -- and don't forget your sunblock!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada, Colo.