Health department inspects food vendors at Riverbend - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Health department inspects food vendors at Riverbend

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There’s a lot of food to choose from at the Riverbend Festival. If it's deep-fried, you'll find it here. However, before you indulge health inspectors are making sure your food is safe.

Rows and rows of food vendors are setting up for one of the largest events in the Tennessee Valley.

You can find mouthwatering food on a plate, bowl or even on a stick. However it's served, it has to be prepared safely.

Lowe Wilkins and his team with the Hamilton County's Environmental Health Division made their first round of health inspections at Riverbend to see if vendors are ready opening night.

"They have adequate refrigeration, they have adequate hot and cold water, that they have all of the utensils to hold and cook the food properly,” Wilkins said.

Those are just some of the things Wilkins and his inspectors will look for to issue temporary permits to food vendors.

If there's a food safety issue, they'll work with them to fix the issue immediately. If they don't...

"We will temporarily suspend the permit to operate until corrective action is corrected,” Wilkins explained.

Throughout the nine-day festival, the health department will conduct more than 300 inspections. It’s a lot of work but something vendors and festival goers say is worth the time.

"It’s critical, it's the main thing that keeps everybody in line end it keeps everybody healthy, it's a good thing out there," said Skip White, Riverbend food vendor.

Inspectors will be checking each vendor daily throughout the festival. If there is a violation, the health department will work with them to correct the issue.

Thursday night the health department will meet with all of the food vendors at Riverbend for to go over standards and what they will look for throughout the festival.

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