Louisville Metro Public Health and Welfare (LMPHW) is back at the Kentucky State Fair this year to inspect food vendors to ensure the safety of attendeess and to create a quiet and clean area for families to safely feed their babies and take care of their needs. LMPHW is also reminding fairgoers to know their own risk and take precautions Jefferson County remains at the community red alert level for COVID-19.
“Unfortunately, the transmission of COVID-19 is still high in our area. While we want you to enjoy the State Fair, we encourage you to do so safely,” said Dr. Jeffrey Howard, interim director of LMPHW. “You can protect yourself and others by wearing a suitable mask when visiting indoor exhibits, staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, and staying home if you are sick.”
If you are in high risk for serious diseases and plans to attend the Kentucky State Fair, talk to your doctor about taking extra precautions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published updated guidance, including isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19.
During the 11-day run of the Kentucky State Fair, LMPHW will conduct more than 1,500 food vendor inspections. Before the fair gates open each year, vendors are required to obtain temporary local and state food service permits and complete a food safety training class.
“Before eating, customers should also protect themselves by washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the restroom and touching animals,” said Connie Mendel, senior deputy director of LMPHW.
Before purchasing food, fairgoers should also consider:
- If the booth or concession stand is clean
- If employees wash their hands at the hand washing sink
- If employees wear gloves or use tongs when handling food
- If there is a refrigerator on site for raw ingredients and pre-cooked foods
- If the concession has a recent inspection, permit and food service training certificate posted
Food vendors can find information about Kentucky State Fair food service requirements, the online food safety course and how to obtain a temporary food service permit here.
Support for families – Rock N Relax
For the 31st year, LMPHW is teaming up with Baptist Health to sponsor the Rock N Relax area at the fair. Rock N Relax is a quiet and comfortable place where mothers can breastfeed or pump and families can change diapers. There are rocking chairs, changing tables, free of charge sanitary napkins and diapers in several sizes.
“Rock N Relax offers families an opportunity to take a breather while enjoying the excitement of the Kentucky State Fair,” said Rebekah Scroggy, lactation program manager at LMPHW. “Families will not only rest and relax, but they can also learn more about breastfeeding, children’s health, nutrition and. Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program..”
The Rock N Relax area can be found in section B100 in the South Wing lobby area of the fairgrounds.
Reminder: Wash your hands after petting animals
State fair season also brings an increase in interactions between people and livestock. According to the CDCthere are many types of germs that can be spread between animals and humans, but some of the most common diseases that people can get from petting livestock at shows are E. coli, cryptosporidium, and salmonella.
“Children 5 and older, people with weakened immune systems, and adults over 65 are more likely to get sick from germs that animals can carry,” Mendel said. “Everyone should take precautions in animal exhibits such as avoiding taking food, drinks, toys, pacifiers, cups or baby bottles into those areas. You should also wash your hands immediately or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer after visiting animal exhibits.
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AROUND LOUISVILLE METRO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND PUBLIC WELFARE
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Welfare (LMPHW) is a nationally accredited, independent, academic health department committed to achieving health equity and improving the health and well-being of all Louisville residents and visitors.