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Food Safety Stressed at Rock'n Ribs

(Springfield, MO) -- It's a cool night in the Ozarks, but you can warm up eating some of the best ribs in the area.
(Springfield, MO) -- It's a cool night in the Ozarks, but you can warm up eating some of the best ribs in the area.
The 13th Annual Rock'n Ribs BBQ Festival is going on right now outside the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks on Campbell.
Thousands of tasters come out every year to sample local food.
There were more than 50 vendors handing out barbecue samples and selling food tonight, but there's a lot of behind the scenes preparation that goes on to keep you safe.
Jerry Carsten is no stranger to food inspections.
He's been in the concession business for ten years and says there's a big list to follow.
"From utensils, to product to electrical cords, and water hoses. It's pretty extensive and I think that's what people don't realize of the business," said Carsten.
It takes days of preparation to feed a thousand people and even small samples have their rules.
"We're asking them to police themselves to work with the people doing the sampling to keep proper hygiene wash their hands and wear gloves," said Mike Brother, Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
More than 50 teams signed up to show off their best barbecue this weekend.
"These kind of events these sampling events we can't bring an inspector out to inspect all 50 or 60 or 100 of the booths out here giving samples," said Brothers.
Jim McLeod of Southwest Rotary says they've been in the competition for 12 years and always make sure they're handing out safe food.
"Every time we get into the food we'll wear gloves when we touch it we got the restaurant inspector out here just like anywhere else and we're doing the same thing as restaurants," said McLeod.
And so far these competitors continue to hand out mouthwatering samples.
"They raise money for charity they have a good track record when it comes to health," said Brothers.
And an early start to the summer festival season.
"Funnel cake and corn dogs. It is great fair food you can't go wrong with a corn dog and funnel cake," said Carsten.
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