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David Sparks Ph.d State Fair Bio-hazards
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: August 04, 2017

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Where there are animals, people and food there is the possibility of pathogens crashing the party. The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s food safety and animal health programs have a unified message aimed at exhibitors, food vendors and especially fair goers. Oregon State Veterinarian, Dr. Brad Leemaster: “Wash your hands when you go in to see the animals, wash your hands when you go out. Use those hand washing stations. That really helps lower the risk of moving any potential pathogens around.” Leemaster says the message of good bio security should be pushed out to exhibitors at every state fair but sometimes the general public forgets. On the food safety side, Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Carl Smidt echoes the hand washing advice but also urges common sense when you eat all of that tasty food you find at fairs, it’s tempting to take some of that food home, especially when you get such large portions. But don’t wait too long to consume it. “No longer than two hours on a typical warm day in the 80°s but if it is above a 90° day, you want to put your food on ice or in a cooler or something like that within one hour.” As an example, in Oregon it has been 15 years since the last food illness outbreak at a county fair and the hand washing and other bio security tips will help lessen the chance of a repeat incident.

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