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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Azalea Festival Street Fair starts tonight, and food vendors are set up along Water Street.

That means New Hanover County Health Inspectors are out in full force making sure all those tasty treats are also safe to eat.

Each year the Azalea Festival Street Fair draws tens of thousands of people downtown. Many of them come with an appetite.

For more than 15 years health inspectors have been here as well each day of the festival. Instead of just making sure the vendors are up to code when they set up, inspectors make routine checks throughout the weekend not only to ensure proper handling of food, but also to put the public at ease.

“This festival is such a large festival,” New Hanover Co. Deputy Health Director Joshua Swift said. “There are so many food vendors and so many people that come to it, over 2 to 300 thousand people, that it is very important that we are here each day to monitor the food safety.”

Swift says the two major things inspectors look for are proper hand washing and correct food temperatures. Storing food in places that are too hot or too cold can create a breeding ground for bacteria and infect customers.


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