The city of Minneapolis will have its health inspectors working overtime this summer to make sure the food served at outdoor festivals is safe.
Minneapolis licenses nearly 1,000 food vendors for community events each year. The state only requires the city to inspect 10 percent of those businesses. But now its goal will be to inspect all of them.
The move comes in response to a salmonella outbreak last year at an Ecuadorian festival. It was the second-largest such outbreak in state history, sickening more than 100 people and sending 19 to the hospital.
"As a result of this failure to protect public health, the department has revamped the licensing and inspection process for these events based upon national best practices," the city's health department wrote in a memo to the City Council.
Because many festivals happen on the weekend, the extra inspections will mean paying overtime. That, coupled with increased demands associated with this summer's All Star Game and a proliferation of new restaurants, could cost up to $90,000 this year.
Next year, the department wants to hire four additional full-time inspectors. The 25 percent staffing increase would cost more that $400,000.