Health Inspectors Visit Fair Food Booths - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

09/24/07-Tyler

Health Inspectors Visit Fair Food Booths

John Duke's inspections make up part of the Restaurant Report you see every Thursday night on KLTV 7.  But today, and nearly every day during the East Texas State Fair, he and other inspectors are out inspecting food vendors.

"Maintaning product temps and no temperature abuse [is key to preventing illness.]  And these people in [the Taqueria La Casita food booth] were washing their hands, and being as clean as possible.  That's probably one of the most important things that goes on in here to keep people from getting sick," Duke said.

He is a registered sanitarian with the Northeast Texas Public Health District and was greeted with a worker at the booth surrounding bottles of warm salsa with ice.

"If they just put those gallon containers of hot sauce in the refrigerator, there's no way in the world that stuff would get cooled in [the state-mandated] six hour time period. This will do it," Duke said of the "ice bath" that will keep the sauce safe.

Running an operation like this might seem small on the outside, but it's a huge job, said Rudy Rodriguez of Taqueria La Casita.

"We get kind of messy with our food preparation, since we try to get [customers] in and out, and we make a little mess.   And then someone, my mother and wife, will try to come in after us," he said of the cleaning routine.

"We take the issue of food safety extremely seriously. Knowing well that we have a quarter million people come out here, we want to make sure that our food is safe," said John Sykes, general manager of the East Texas State Fair. 

At every stand in plain sight is, or should be, the inspection report.  You can see exactly what the inspector has reported.

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