PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The rides are fun, but the buzz at the Arizona State Fair is always about the food. But how do you know all the great fair food is safe to eat?
That's where environmental specialist supervisor Starletta Brown, with Maricopa County Environmental Services, comes in. Brown was at the fairgrounds Wednesday, going from vendor to vendor, doing food safety inspections. "It is exactly what we are doing at a restaurant. We're looking to make sure what they are doing is in compliance and all food is safe," said Brown. "Hot holding temps where they need to be, cold temps where they need to be, as well, people doing everything properly."
Brown did spot a few minor violations. At one food booth, a worker was spotted handling ready-to-eat apples with his bare hands. A lemonade stand had a staff member not wearing gloves.
Another food booth was on the verge of being shut down, but immediately corrected its wastewater leak problem. "They were able to do a really good job resolving and did not end up in a suspension of their permit," said Brown.
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Every food booth is inspected twice during October, with Brown and other food safety specialists popping in without warning. Vendors are allowed to fix problems on the spot. So far, all of the food booths have passed their inspections, Brown said. "For the most part, everybody does a good job," said Brown.