The Tulsa State Fair is expecting over 200 individual food booths this year.
Everything from fried pickles to chocolate covered corn dogs will be on the menu. While fairgoers will be busy consuming their favorite treats, Tulsa Health Department sanitarians will be working over 820 hours behind the scenes to keep your food safe.
"We try to inspect each one of them at least two or three times during the course of the fair," Tulsa Health Department's Elizabeth Nutt said.
The first inspection starts the day before the fair begins. Nutt said they go over rules and guidelines with all of the vendors.
"Most of them are respectful and proud of what they do and want to do the right thing," Nutt said.
Once the fair begins, the follow-up inspections are at random or when a sanitarian or customer witnesses a problem. Nutt said they really don't see many problems.
"That's kind of a star for the operations we have here," Nutt said. "Not only for the health department staff but for the vendors as well."
If a problem or complaint does occur the health department acts right away. Nutt said if they can't fix it immediately, they might temporarily shutdown the vendor. In some extreme cases, the health department may create a plan for the vendor to get their business up to code.
"The Tulsa State Fair has a long history of working very closely with the Tulsa Health Department to ensure that fairgoers can indulge in their favorite fair cuisine without fear of getting a foodborne illness." Nutt said. "The hard work our staff puts into educating food vendors about food safety and the frequent inspections to make sure vendors are using safe food handling have proven very effective in protecting the public."
The Tulsa State Fair opens on Thursday, September 2th.