BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) – Thousands of chili fanatics will descend on downtown Belleville this weekend for the 34th annual Belleville Chili Cook-Off.
Chamber of Commerce Director Wendy Pfeil says they briefly considered ending the long-time tradition after some cases of salmonella were reported last year, but ultimately decided to carry on with the “favorite community event.”
“I just would like to stress that, you know, it wasn’t tied to any particular vendor or any food or anything there, and that it could have been brought in from an outside source,” she says.
Pfeil says the same thing could have happened to “anybody at any festival at any time.”
As an added precaution, each of the 60-plus vendors at this year’s Cook-Off will either submit their food-handler certificates or attend a food handling class.
The Chili Cook-Off happens Friday and Saturday in downtown Belleville.