The Darke County Health Department is preparing to perform food and camping inspections as well as educate the public to keep them safe and healthy during the Great Darke County 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. They inspect ALL of the food and drink concessions. The inspectors are at the fair majority of the days it is operating. Last year, they conducted 141 inspections and consultations during the 9-day event. Consultations included answering questions, checking temperatures, and monitoring equipment.
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 and dispose of waste properly.
Mobile food operations shall be licensed by an 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 and have commercial equipment.
Do you like to camp at the Fair? If so, please remember that your gray water must be properly disposed of in a blue belly, holding tank, or sanitary sewer system. You must also dump your black water into one of the approved dump stations. The Health Department will be monitoring the campgrounds to make sure there is no dumping of gray/black water onto the grounds. An inspector checks around 800 campers during the fair. If you have additional camping concerns while out at the fair, please feel free to contact the Health Department or the fair board.
Staff from the Nursing Division will be partnering with the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities to promote our Help Me Grow, Early Intervention, and Children with Medical Handicaps programs. Come see us in the Coliseum as we will have a shared booth with the Board of Developmental Disabilities. Staff will be at the booth every day. We will also have information available on our Immunizations, Medical Reserve Corps, Communicable Disease, and Business Flu Clinic programs.
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. The Health Department does not recommend eating or drinking in the animal barns. Also, if you are bringing food home to enjoy, ensure you are following proper food safety procedures.
Take a moment to stop by the Darke Countians for Wildlife Conservation Tent and visit the Health Departments’ display on Mosquito Surveillance and Control and other various information. We will have free samples of mosquito larvicide available as well! The Darke County Health Department hopes everyone enjoys their time at the Darke County Fair. Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and wear your sunscreen and bug spray when outside. The Fair also has different areas for resting, some of which are air conditioned! If you have any questions, call the Health Department at 937-548-4196 ext. 209.