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updated: 6/10/2013 4:11 PM

A field guide to safe food at festivals

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Dave Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--The summer is full of fairs and festivals and the DuPage County Health Department offers a few tips that will keep you and your family safe from foodborne illnesses while eating the many types of foods available at these events.

Foodborne illnesses increase during the summer months when people are eating outside so it is important to follow food safety recommendations, especially at fairs and festivals.

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Here are some tips before buying food at a festival:

Does the vendor have a clean and tidy workstation?

Does the vendor have a sink for employees to wash their hands?

Do the employees wear gloves or use tongs when handling food?

Does the vendor have refrigeration on site for raw ingredients or pre-cooked foods?

Has the vendor been inspected? Temporary and mobile vendors, like those at fairs and carnivals, should have a license to sell food and beverages. You can check with the DuPage County Health Department to see if the vendors are licensed and if a food inspection has been completed.

Here are some additional steps to take at summer events:

Find out where hand washing stations are located and wash hands with soap and clean water for 20 seconds.

Always wash your hands right after petting animals, touching the animal enclosure, and exiting animal areas even if you did not touch an animal.

Always wash hands after using the restroom, after playing a game or going on a ride, before eating and drinking, before preparing food or drinks, after changing diapers, and after removing soiled clothes or shoes.

Bring hand sanitizers or disposable wipes in case there aren't any places to wash your hands.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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