State will inspect food vendors, amusement games at Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) will be onsite this week on the state fairgrounds to conduct inspections of Iowa State Fair food vendors and concession games.

DIA food safety specialists from the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau will begin inspecting and licensing food vendors on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The food safety specialists will also be on the fairgrounds throughout the fair to make sure that all food items are prepared and served in accordance with Iowa’s food safety laws. Food inspectors will also respond to food safety concerns expressed by fairgoers.

"State Fair attendees depend on DIA to help ensure the food they consume at the fair is safe," said DIA Director Larry Johnson, Jr. "Our staff take their job very seriously."

On Thursday, Aug. 12, personnel from the Social and Charitable Gambling Unit will check the amusement concession games to make sure they are appropriately licensed, and that the games are conducted in a fair and honest manner. The aim of these inspections is to ensure that an average person could perform under the rules of the games, and that the object of each game is attainable.

"Fairgoers should feel confident that the games they play are fair," said Director Johnson.

Inspectors also make sure that the rules of the games are clearly posted, the maximum base cost to play each game is not more than $5, and that all prizes are awarded in merchandise and not cash, per Iowa law.

The department’s Social and Charitable Gambling Unit is responsible for licensing and regulating all amusement concession games, as well as bingo operations, raffles, and registered amusement devices. DIA’s Food and Consumer Safety Bureau oversees Iowa's food safety inspection program and is responsible for the licensing of more than 24,000 food establishments and food processing plants statewide.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is committed to protecting the health and safety of Iowans through regulation and oversight of health care, food, and gaming; application of administrative law; and investigation of Medicaid and welfare fraud.

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