Summers are synonymous with fairs, festivals, outdoor concerts and carnivals. Good music, tasty food, and fun rides and games at these events draw large crowds. Here are some tips from HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals on how to stay safe:
• Wash your hands often, especially after visiting animal enclosures, after using the restroom and before eating or drinking. If there is nowhere to wash your hands, bring hand sanitizers or disposable wipes to use.
• Drink plenty of water – this is especially true if it is a hot day with high heat index and/or if any alcohol consumption occurs.
• If alcohol is available, use precaution. Don’t take drinks from strangers and don’t leave your drink unattended. Monitor your alcohol intake carefully. Since alcohol can dehydrate the body, it’s important to drink as much (if not more) water than alcohol.
• Ensure you have suitable clothing for the weather conditions and the location of the event.
• Apply and reapply sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater, seek shade periodically, and wear sunglasses and a hat.
Food safety practices should be the same at fairs as they are at restaurants and at home. Before you buy food from a vendor at a fair or festival, consider the following:
• Does the vendor have a clean workstation and a sink for employees to wash their hands?
• Do the employees wear gloves/use tongs when handling food?
• Is there a permit noticeably posted?
• Does the vendor have refrigeration on site for raw ingredients or pre-cooked foods?