Inspectors Put Tulsa Fair Food Vendors To The Test

Wednesday, September 30th 2015, 11:06 pm
By: News On 6

Thursday, the doors of the Tulsa State Fair will open, and the public will get a chance to ride the rides, play the games and, most importantly, eat the food.

Wednesday, more than 200 food stands were inspected, and there is a long list of things to try.

Before vendors can open their windows to serve things like chicken and waffles on a stick or jalapeno-flavored candied bacon, there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to get it all ready.

Frank the health inspector is all business - nothing gets past him. He checks water temperature, soap, and you better not have any scented bleach.

"Like lemon. It’s not food safe," he said.

Karen Jencks appreciates Frank and his attention to detail.

“I love it when they come in. If they find anything I'm like, ‘thank you,’" she said.

After all, she was the one to mistakenly attempt to use scented bleach.

"I got this new bleach and he was like, ‘What kind?’ I said, ‘It’s lemon bleach,’ and he said that wasn't OK and I was like, what," Jencks said.

Each one of the more than 200 food stands at this year’s Tulsa State Fair will not open without a pink sticker from the health department.

9/29/2015 Related Story: Ride Safety Top Priority For Investigators At Tulsa Fairgrounds

Now that she has hers, Karen is ready to serve her famous staple items.

“Grandson’s coming up from Norman. Have to come for nanny’s mini donuts and chicken on a stick - that’s their thing,” she said.

Many vendors at the fair have set up shop for decades.

"You have your fair family, and it’s like a little reunion when you see everyone," Jencks said.

A member of her fair family is John Christopher or JC. And this year he will debut a brand new delicacy, bacon-flavored cotton candy.

"We've got bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, so why not bacon-flavored cotton candy," he said. "It smells like bacon and tastes like bacon. I think it tastes a whole lot like sugar-cured ham."

It’s already at the Texas state fair, he said, so why not bring it here and add to his already established empire of fresh baked cookies and funnel fingers.

"And if Wolly Winket can have a chocolate factory why can’t I have a cotton candy factory," JC said.

Fair doors open at 5 p.m. Thursday and runs through October 11th.