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Lorain County Public Health inspects food vendors at festivals and fairs

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Fairs and festivals are exciting events that always offer fun things to see and experience, including artwork, music, games and rides. One of the biggest draws to these events is the fun, varied selection of food and drink. Lorain County Public Health (LCPH) makes sure that these food vendors - whether a food truck, trailer, or tent setup - follow the same food safety rules as a restaurant in order to help protect you and your family from food poisoning.

“LCPH inspects all food vendors in order to make sure they have a valid license and a safe water source. LCPH also makes sure vendors have a place to wash hands and that they keep food at safe temperatures,” explains David Covell, MPH, RS, health commissioner at LCPH. “Basically, they need to meet the same requirements as a brick-and-mortar facility.”

LCPH inspects all 136 licensed mobile food vendors in Lorain County to help keep the public safe from possible illness spread through food. LCPH also inspects about 500 vendors per year at temporary events like fairs, festivals and car shows.

Three steps to stay healthy at fairs and festivals:

  • Wash hands after using the restroom, after playing a game or going on a ride, before eating and drinking, after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet and after petting animals.
  • Choose healthy alternatives to typical fair food, like grilled veggies or frozen bananas.
  • If you’re bringing food from home, keep it in a cooler or insulated bag.

Report suspected food poisoning to Lorain County Public Health by calling 440-322-6367, even if you have already recovered. The local public health department is an important part of the food safety system. Often, calls from concerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected.

For more information on how to live healthy, contact Lorain County Public Health at 440-322-6367. Follow your local health department on Twitter @LorainCoHealth, Facebook, or YouTube.