Health and Family Services Cabinet
Food Safety Goes to the Fair
Public Health Works Overtime to Keep Kentuckians Healthy
The smells of corn dogs, cotton candy, steak and pork chop sandwiches fill the air in Louisville each August, creating a warm welcome for Kentucky State Fair patrons.
But for a host of food safety workers assigned to ensure sound food preparation and handling practices are followed, the delicious treats signal one thing – hard work.
Public environmental health food and milk safety inspectors are diligently working this month to check on the food vendors and dairy producers who operate during the state fair. Staff members from the Department for Public Health (DPH), the Louisville Metro Health Department and other local health departments are teaming up to check food cooking and holding temperatures; employee hygiene and hand washing; cleanliness of the food production unit; and refrigeration, dishwashing, insect prevention methods, and many other factors that play a role in the safety of food.
“There are close to 700,000 citizens who attend the state fair, and we want to make as sure as possible that each one has a wonderful, safe, healthy trip and safe return home,” said Guy Delius, DPH’s assistant director of the division of public health protection and safety. “Our food and milk safety staff inspects each of the approximately 200 food vendors on the fair grounds each day for a number of food safety issues as well as monitoring the milk barn and dairy systems. They are often up early and stay late to inspect, sample and test the food products."
“Through the years we’ve found the vast majority of vendors do a wonderful job adhering to our food safety guidelines,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., acting undersecretary for health and DPH commissioner. “This goes to show how well our food and milk safety program is working throughout the state.”
“I’m always pleased to see how well the system works,” said Clyde Bolton, director of the division of public health protection and safety. “This is a huge event with a tremendous number of patrons – but it’s always conducted as safely and healthfully as possible.”
For more information about Kentucky’s food safety programs, contact Christine Atkinson in the Department for Public Health at (502) 564-7181.