When it comes to On The Waterfront, any New Year's resolution on dieting goes right out the window.
From apple fritters to Italian sausage, Rockford's festival offers some mouth watering options, but food prepared in temporary booths do have a potential safety risk. That is where the Winnebago County Health Department steps in to identify those risks before it's too late.
Pauline Zukowski and other Marine volunteers are busy this week not serving their country, but serving hungry festivalgoers at On The Waterfront, but when it comes to dishing out Italian sausages, safety is up utmost importance.
Zukowski says, "Everyone's here for one reason, fundraising, but it's important we're serving the public food and we don't want anyone to get sick."
Busy monitoring food safety is the Winnebago County Health Department. All weekend, eight workers hit the streets with their thermometers to make sure the 50 food vendors keep their meats hot enough and dairy products cold enough.
Health Inspector Art Pervis says, "I get to interact with everybody and help them do the job that they should be doing in most cases."
Purvis says so far 2004's Waterfront has resulted in only minor cooler and grill problems. These problems are taken care of right away. The department credits the vendors for being prepared and cooperative.
"A lot of these vendors come to the workshops and they know exactly what we expect of them," Purvis told 23 News.
With the Health Department's watchful eye on the “Waterfront”, vendors like Zukowski say keeping eaters healthy keeps On The Waterfront healthy as a whole.