Food Checks Keep It All Safe For Rodeo Fans

The Reno Rodeo is a good place to see cowboy action you don't normally see everyday. And it may be a place for you to indulge in food you don't normally eat.

Today I look at how food vendors are inspected to make sure their product is safe.

You'd expect the health department to frequently visit local restaurants to make sure the food is safe. Tthe fact is that same diligence goes on for vendors who serve food at the Reno Rodeo.

For the past seven years Senior Health Inspector Jeff Brasel has examined the food booths here at the Reno Rodeo.

For the Rodeo, vendors will be inspected seven days a week. It could be anytime . . . just before peak hours or during peak hours.

Food safety is the name of the game, and Jeff says he'll be looking for very specific issues that can mean the difference between what's healthy and hurtful for patrons.

Speaking of one inspection, Brasel says:

"Anything we see along here we mark down it starts with source I kind of like that. The source here is USDA. I don't see anything like frostbite or thaw and refreeze. He's got thermometers throughout. I like that.

"We are really focusing on temperatures. He's at 173 and holding at the bone. They only need to be cooked at 150 degrees. Standard here is 45 as you can see its going down. Handwashing is really important. We are really concerned, particularly viral type organisms," he says.

While some people may refer to Brasel as the food police. He says he doesn't really consider that to be his job.

He says he's more interested in making sure people prepare and present their food within safe guidelines, and helping vendors understand how they can consistently do that.

Inspectors can't be there 24-hours, seven days a week.

That's why Brasel says if you have any questions or complements contact them and let them know about it.

So far, the health department has not issued any major violations at any of the Reno Rodeo food vending concessions.

However, inspectors tell us they had to shut down the mechanical bull ride for a time because it was leaking hydraulic fluid, which could get into the water system.