DARKE COUNTY — The Great Darke County Fair is quickly approaching and the Health Department is getting prepared to perform food and camping inspections as well as help educate the public in keeping them safe and healthy during the fair.
“While you are at the Fair enjoying funnel cakes, elephant ears, and lemonade the Darke County Health Inspectors are working diligently behind the scenes to ensure your safety while attending the event,” said health officials.
They inspect all of the food and drink concessions. There are approximately 250 inspections that are completed during the nine-day event.
Temporary food operations must meet particular criteria in addition to having a license to operate. All temporary operations must have a way to wash their hands, clean and sanitize dishes, and keep food at the appropriate temperature. They must also obtain food from approved sources.
Mobile food operations shall be licensed by any Ohio county health department prior to operating. Mobiles must obtain water from an approved source. They must also properly dispose their waste water into approved drains or into a blue belly waste container if they do not have a holding tank. An approved backflow prevention device shall be connected to the food grade water hose or built into the plumbing of the unit to protect the water used by the mobile. Mobiles are required to have hot and cold running water. All mobile operations must have a way to wash their hands, clean and sanitize dishes, and keep food at the appropriate temperature. They must also obtain food from approved sources.
Do you like to camp at the Fair? If so, please remember that gray water must be properly disposed of in a blue belly or holding tank. The Health Department will perform inspections to assure there is no dumping of gray water onto the grounds.
“If you have additional camping concerns while out at the fair please feel free to contact the health department or the fair board,” said officials.
While having fun at the fair, the Health Department would like to remind you to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. There are three rest tent locations that have cooling fans or air conditioning units. Second National Bank’s rest tent can be located at the south side of Ned’s Chicken stand. The Red Cross building is at the north end of the Grandstand, which is air conditioned. Also, Wayne HealthCare has a rest tent located by the Ohio Center which has an area for nursing mothers and a diaper changing area.
One of the best things about the fair is looking at the animals. Please make sure you are using hand sanitizing stations found at the entrances and exits of the animal barns. Sanitizers may not eliminate all germs so be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Please take a moment to stop by the Darke Countians for Wildlife Conservation Tent and visit the Health Department’s display for a variety of information. The Darke County Health Department hopes everyone enjoys their time at the Darke County Fair. Those with questions may call the Health Department at 937-548-4196, ext. 209.