One of the biggest draws of the Panhandle South Plains Fair each year is fair food. But how do you know the food booths are clean and that your food is being prepared properly?
Before the gates are opened to the public, each food vendor must go through an inspection to get a food permit. "All the food vendors at the fair go through an inspection that is basically similar to the ones we do at the restaurants. We're looking at food temperatures, the way they're storing their food, the way they're handling their food and the way they cook their food," health inspector Steven Walker said.
But the inspections don't stop there. Just like at your favorite restaurant, the City of Lubbock Health Department pops in unannounced to do random checks.
Walker says most mistakes happen when the food rush is on. "Common errors are hand violations: contacting ready to eat foods with their bare hands, not using gloves or utensils AND proper hand- washing before they put those gloves on," he said.
Although this is the first time Dennis Bossman's "Route 66 Diner" has made a stop at the fair, he knows the importance of keeping his mobile kitchen clean. "We gotta keep it clean. We keep all our freezers monitored with thermometers. It's very important to keep your meat at the right temperature you know. It's a health risk if it gets below a certain temperature so you gotta stay on top of that kind of stuff," said Bossman.
If you're looking for a little taste of nostalgia at this year's fair, you can find this midway newcomer serving up big flavor near the big rides. "We got buckets of fries. They fill up the bucket and then they put chili and cheese on top."
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Food for Thought 9.25