It's Alberta Health Services' duty to protect health, and this includes ensuring that Albertans can enjoy safe food, no matter what the event or location.
For the past several years, our food safety teams have flagged concerns with the food safety practices in the temporary concessions that were set up at the Cariwest Festival in Edmonton.
Despite attempts to address these together with Cariwest organizers, concerns with the connection and maintenance of electrical, plumbing, and disposal systems, as well as the temperature controls for food storage and transportation, persisted.
After Cariwest 2014, we concluded that these concessions are unable to operate without potentially putting the health of festival attendees at risk.
Quite simply, we don't want people to get sick.
We do want people to be able to enjoy food, safely, while at Cariwest 2015.
To ensure good safe food is ready to be served up to Cariwest goers this year, AHS has approved nine mobile food vendors to operate from festival opening to close.
Temporary concessions will not be used at Cariwest this year; however, the mobile food vendors - which include food trucks and other similar set-ups - will prepare a good variety of foods that we know festival goers will enjoy.
AHS always seeks to collaborate with food vendors and event organizers, and this includes the Cariwest organizers. Shortly after the end of Cariwest 2014, we advised Cariwest organizers that we would approve only self contained mobile food operations for Cariwest 2015, and would not allow use of temporary concessions in 2015.
We trust that Cariwest organizers share our concerns for the safety and enjoyment of Cariwest attendees, and will continue to work collaboratively with us to support the offering of a great variety of safe foods to all festival goers, now and in the years ahead.