Safety a Priority at State Fair of Texas

Safety was top of mind Thursday as crews completed the final preparations for the State Fair of Texas.

“There is nothing else more important. That's literally the top of the list,” said Carey Risinger, Senior Vice President of Food, Beverage and Retail. “Every day we get up with that thought in mind, every day we end with that thought in mind.”

With more than 200 food and beverage vendors across the State Fair of Texas ensuring what you eat and drink is safe is a big undertaking, but one the state fair staff manages with the help of City of Dallas Health Inspectors, who remain on-site throughout the length of the fair.

“Prior to that, they have to get inspected by the City of Dallas Health Department. The health department is one of our partners. They help us a lot in keeping everybody operating properly,” Risinger said. “The city inspection department inspects the facilities for electrical, plumbing and water – that’s all done – they all have to get permits through the city.”

The State Fair of Texas averages more than a $1 million a day in food and beverage sales, according to Risinger.

It’s not just the food that must be safe, all 73 State Fair of Texas rides are inspected before opening day with some of the final checks underway Thursday.

“We check every ride from top to bottom to make sure they’re safe for the start of tomorrow, “ said Rusty Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President of Operations for the State Fair of Texas.

The State Fair of Texas owns six rides, including the Top of Texas Tower, Texas Skyway, Log Ride, Love Bug and The Pirate Ship, but the majority are hand picked from various companies around the United States.

Owners or operators of the rides are required to perform safety checks daily and submit them to the safety office. In addition, six inspectors working for the State Fair of Texas will inspect rides at various times throughout the length of the fair, according to Fitzgerald.

“We probably ride just over a million people on the rides themselves. Now, a lot of people come to the fair and don’t ride the rides, but it’s important we keep everybody safe. Safety is our number one priority out here and we have an excellent safety record,” Fitzgerald said.

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