Food safety at Rib Cook Off

SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - Cookers at the Best in the West Nugget Cook Off make sure their food is properly handled and safe for consumption. Two new vendors this year, Git-R-Smoked and Whiskey Creek are no strangers to health codes.

Although it’s not the usual brick and mortar set up, that doesn’t change their safety practices.

Whiskey Creek’s Jason Best said, "It really is just good habits that keeps a booth clean, the floors swept, you don't want a sloppy booth, the motto is it’s just kind of clean as you go."

The Washoe County Health Department said inspectors perform several checks every day. Nick Florey said, “Every health inspector has there bag of equipment, first and foremost there thermometer, we can check sanitizer and chemical levels, flash lights to see in all the places we need to check.”

Every morning vendors prepare buckets of water and bleach to disinfect their stations throughout the day. Constant maintenance is key said Git-R-Smoke’s Kevin McFarland.

“If you have too much bleach in there, you contaminate the food and you contaminate the public, so there’s a fine balance between the two.”

Just like inspectors the cookers keep a close eye on the food temperatures. Best said, “To make sure there is no bacteria in there. There is a danger zone between 40 and 140 degrees.”

He continued, “Natural bacteria develop in the food and we want to make sure that by cooking them we get them above 140-165 you are in the safe zone.”

Florey said inspectors do their part to make sure each vendor is up to code, but it doesn’t hurt to walk around a booth and use your own judgement.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019