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SafeFood© on a Stick

It is Fair Time! With that comes the end to our year-long cravings for Fried Snickers, Funnel Cakes, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, and of course, the Pork Chop on a Stick. My home is in Iowa – and like half the state’s population – I usually make the rounds at the Iowa State Fair (check out the movie or stage classic production of State Fair to get a true sense of the experience). It is Our State Fair!

There is more to do at the Fair than just eat, but certainly experiencing the food temptations is a part of the ritual. I watch with interest the preparation and service of all this food. Some of the trailers/stands are very conscientious and follow SafeFood handling and others must have put their best foot forward during the inspections. Yes, all food stands at the Fair are inspected and approved. This ensures there is no massive outbreak of a foodborne illness.

Of course, Fair Goers should also take the usual precautions – washing hands before eating (especially after petting the Super Bull) and reject food that is clearly not thoroughly cooked (although a lot of the stands use precooked products) or where the food server has used bare hands, dropped the cup on the floor, or has his/her hair swishing around the food stand.

Food on a Stick has many advantages in that it reduces the need for the food server to actually touch the food. And with potential for cross contamination, that is a good thing!

Enjoy Your State Fair!

Submitted by Catherine Strohbehn (State Fair veteran) August 19, 2008.