Fairs and festivals are exciting events and there are always fun things to see and experience, including art work, music games, and rides. One of the biggest draws to these events is the many different types of foods and drinks available.
Sometimes the usual safety controls in a kitchen, like handwashing facilities, refrigeration, thermometers to check food temperatures, and workers trained in food safety, may not be available when cooking and dining at fairs and festivals. This makes it even more important for you to follow food safety tips.
Remember that food safety practices are the same at fairs as they are at restaurants and at home: Clean, Separate, cook and Chill. Learn more about these steps, and reduce your chances of getting food poisoning.
What should you consider before buying food from a vendor?
- Does the vendor have a clean/tidy workstation?
- Does the vendor have a sink for employees to wash their hands?
- Do the employees wear gloves or sue tongs when handling food?
- Does the vendor have refrigeration on site for raw ingredients or pre-cooked foods?
- Has the vendor been inspected? Is a recent inspection report available?
Are there healthy food alternatives to consider at fairs and festivals?
When purchasing food from a vendor, look for healthy options first. If they are not available, consider bringing your own food to save money and calories. Bringing food from home allows you to eat a healthy meal or snack as a family, while still enjoying the festive atmosphere around you. Don’t forget to keep safe storage practices in mind. Always remember to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
When bringing food from home, what are proper food handling and storage practices?
If you bring food to a fair or festival from home, be sure to keep food handling and storage times in mind. Don’t let food sit out for more than two hours. On a hot day (90oF or higher), reduce this time to one hour. Be sure to put perishable items in a cooler or insulated bag.
What steps can you take to protect you and your family?
Wash hands often:
- Find out where hand washing stations are located.
- Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Always 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 removing soiled clothes or shoes.
- Bring hand sanitizers or disposable wipes in case there aren’t any places to wash your hands.