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Safety inspections underway for Dixie Classic Fair

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The State Department of Labor and the Forsyth County Health Department inspectors scoured the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds to make sure each food and ride attraction passes state guidelines.

Dixie Classic Fair Director David Sparks said set up for the fair began two days earlier than usual giving health and safety inspectors more time to make their rounds.

Kenneth Michaud, an environmental health specialist for the county, says each food concession inspection has a zero tolerance policy for a food sales permit.

"The week of the fair we do what’s called mid-event checks where we are out here every day making sure people are still complying with the rules, that they're not changing things once we leave. We are here every day for the fair," Michaud said.

There are approximately 63 food concession vendors at the Dixie Classic Fair this year and Michaud said the inspection is more than halfway complete.

Inspectors check more than 23 state standards that test everything from hair constraints to hot water pressure.

The same zero tolerance policy applies for the 65 rides at the fair.

Three inspectors from the state Department of Labor are checking each ride before Friday's opening.

George Weston Jr., general manager of James E. Strate Shows, said his crew of ride foremen also work alongside state inspectors.

"Actually the rides are much safer now than probably anytime in our industry because of the safety features that are put on them and the computers that monitors what’s going on?" Weston said.