Environmental Health Department Reports 2013 Balloon Fiesta Inspection Results
October 16, 2013
Albuquerque, NM—The Consumer Health Protection Division of the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department has completed a summary of health inspections of food vendors at the 2013 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Overall, results indicate a significant improvement for this year’s Fiesta compared to the past 2 years.
The Consumer Health Protection Division gratefully acknowledges the role that Ovations Food Services has played in reducing violations and improving food safety at the Balloon Fiesta. Ovations provided constant on-site supervision of the vendors, and their involvement last year and this year has greatly facilitated the positive trend in health inspections.
"The cooperation between Ovations Food Services and the Environmental Health Department is a great public-private partnership," said Mayor Berry, "We really appreciate the efforts put forth to help these businesses succeed while keeping the public safe."
A total of 56 violations were documented from 42 vendors during the course of the 2013 Fiesta. In 2011, there were 133 violations. This decreased by 47% to 70 total violations in 2012, and decreased another 20% to the 56 violations reported this year.
In addition, the proportion of vendors who had no violations increased almost two-fold to 55% (23 of 42 vendors). The proportion of vendors with no violations had been steady at 28% for the past 2 years.
"We were very pleased with the excellent commitment to food safety vendors demonstrated at this year’s Balloon Fiesta," said Lorie Stoller, Consumer Health Protection Division Manager. "The trend towards fewer violations and the increase in vendors who had no violations at all is good news for everyone, especially Fiesta attendees."
Health inspections at food vendors are targeted at identifying a wide variety of factors that could compromise food safety, and ultimately lead to food-borne illness. The most significant reductions in violations over the past 2 years have been related to proper temperatures for foods and use of sanitizer (which includes appropriate chemistry as well as availability). Day-to-day functions related to standard operating procedures typically account for the majority of violations, while personal hygiene issues, including hand-washing, are typically less likely to be in violation.