Health Department conducts food safety inspections at Adams County Fair

MENDON, Ill. (WGEM) — The Adams County Fair is well underway, and with that comes pulled pork, corn dogs and other fair trade foods. But how do you know if the foods you eat are safe for you?

With food being sold by vendors, the Adams County Health Department conducts daily food safety inspections.

“So compared to your typical normal restaurant that’s inside a building, its 70 degrees, we’re here on the fairgrounds and we have a more temporary setup,” the inspector from environment Dustin Rhoades.

Rhoades said he checks the temperature of refrigerators and hot foods, and whether employees wash their hands and wear gloves. He said food should be kept in fridges at 41 degrees or lower, so bacteria don’t multiply.

Hot weather at the fair can also lead to food preparation issues.

“Normally you know it’s in the upper 90s and that’s when we run into issues with fridges and coolers having issues keeping that cold food cold the way we like it,” Rhoades said.

Rhoades inspected the food at Big Bro’s Barbecue and Catering on Friday.

Co-owner Cindy Williams said it was important they prepared food safely for their customers because she is also a nurse and knows how dangerous food poisoning can be.

“You have an inside look and an internal source of things that can happen to a person’s body when they get contaminated food or get sick,” Williams said. “So it’s very important to keep every person in the community healthy.”

Williams said she was glad the inspectors came to make sure they were following protocol.

“I just think if we do everything we’re supposed to do to keep everyone safe, we won’t have to worry about them coming through the back door,” Williams said.

Rhoades said there were about 24 food vendors at the fair and they showed up unannounced to do inspections.

He said the health department has a temporary food permit process where it gives vendors detailed food safety information.

Copyright 2022 WGEM. All rights reserved.