State Fair food inspections

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The Arizona State Fair has pretty much any food you want. Grilled burgers, golden corn dogs, flavorful gyros, and yes, even fried bacon donuts.

They even have deep fried lasagna that many can't resist. 

But does cleanliness cross your mind when buying deep friend lasagna?

"I'm probably not the right person to ask," said John Cefola, who was enjoying fair food.
But maybe consumers should be asking.  The County certainly is.

In fact, health inspectors from Environmental Services recently inspected food vendors where they looked for violations or anything that could make you ill.

Three On Your Side tagged along with inspectors like Lindsay Mozena who showed up at vendors unannounced.

"Normally we have a pretty good relationship with the vendors," Mozena said. "This is the second round of inspections so they are pretty prepared to see us."

Inspectors look for general cleanliness and food handling by employees. 

They also test to make sure foods are held at the correct temperature, a crucial factor in preventing illness.

Steven Marcus sells just about anything your stomach wants including corn dogs, and said he welcomes the health inspections.

"We get inspected two or three times at the fair," Marcus said. "If you go to a restaurant, they might get inspected one time for the whole year."

So how did the vendors do?  Well on this day, not bad at all according to County Inspector Tracie Hershberger.

One inspector did find a plastic spray bottle in the kitchen area and that bottle got her attention.

Turns out the spray bottle contained soapy water which is fine, but it was a slight infraction because all bottles are required to be labeled for safety reasons.

After all, cooks don't want to be spraying soapy water by accident on a grill flare up.

The issue, it should be noted, was quickly corrected. 

At other vendors inspectors found inadequate hand washing stations for employees.

These issues were also corrected at the time of inspection.