Restaurant Report Card: Red River Valley Fair Vendors - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Restaurant Report Card: Red River Valley Fair Vendors

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It's Tuesday, and that means it is time for our Restaurant Report Card.  This week, we are doing things a little differently. With the Red River Valley Fair kicking off, we decided to do a fair-style report card to see how safe your food is out there.

There are about 40 food trailers with everything from cheese curds to bacon-stuffed cookies.

Valley News Team's Brandon Clark followed a state health inspector around to a few of the new vendors to find out if they are keeping the food safe for you.

With clipboard in hand, Field Inspector Timothy Haak started making the rounds.

First up was a tent that has only been around a couple years.

"I try to make sure that I take temps of hot food, check temps of cold food, and then before I do that, I make sure they have adequate hand washing facilities," says Haak. Haak also tacks on cleanliness and several other categories, being as strict as possible given that the food is at a fair with thousands of people.

The first tent cleared hand washing facilities, so Haak went to the food.

"I wanna make sure that these things are kept above 135 degrees," Haak explains, "this one is 165 and climbing."

This time through, the food place passed with flying colors.

Only one minor thing the Haak mentioned. "I had to look for some of the thermometers, nothing that serious," he says.

Next, Haak ended up at the home of the bacon-stuffed cookie, a vendor new to the fair this year. 

"She's keeping some stuff in the deep freeze out here, so I just wanna make sure that it's working properly," he says.

After a quick look around, again, only one minor thing Haak noticed: "There's one thing that I'll probably mention to them, but it's not a serious issue, is their air conditioner is dripping quite a bit, but it's not over any food."

Haak concluded the inspection at the food vendor that is also new to the fair and home to macaroni and cheese on a stick.

"They also have the outside freezer, and you can tell it's cold in there," he says.

It did not take long, because, to Haak, the trailer was a model food vendor.

Tuesday's inspections do not surprise Haak because all of the vendors have a lot more riding on the inspections than many people realize.

"They know what they're supposed to do, and you just don't find that many violations out here," Haak explains. "This is their livelihood. If they get somebody sick. They'll probably be out of business," he adds.

Haak will do several inspections throughout the week to make sure vendors are maintaining the quality and safety of their food. If a violation is found, Haak will tell the food vendor to make a fix.

If the violation is not being fixed, Haak reports it to the Fair Board to handle the situation. At worst, the vendor could be told to leave.

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