October 4, 2023

Three Food Vendors Closed at Western Montana Fair

Three food vendors were shut down by health inspectors after officials discovered that “hundreds of pounds of food” had not been properly refrigerated for several days. Bacteria grow readily in certain foods at temperatures between 40 and 140°F; in fact, if the food is warm enough, bacterial counts can double every 20 minutes.

State Fair FariswheelMore violations included improper storage of food, unsanitized dishes, a clogged sink, water supply violations, and employees not washing their hands. Three people did get sick after eating food served by those vendors, and some of it was served before they were shut down. But there are no confirmed cases of food poisoning definitely linked to the fair. The Missoula City-County Health Department reported these closures August 8, 2014 on their Facebook page.

The three vendors are Route 66, Delightful Goodies, and The Candy Stand. All are Northstar vendors. The unrefrigerated foods included chicken, beef, tacos, hot dogs, sausages, and cheese. All of those foods are perishable and must be kept at refrigerator temperatures. The refrigerators on the trucks used to ship the food weren’t working since they left Sidney on Sunday, August 3, 2014. The inspectors found that some of the packages were bulging, indicating bacterial growth.

Even after the vendors were shut down, two state health inspectors went back two days later and had to throw out more food since the workers left food out unrefrigerated again. If anyone ate at that fair and has been sick with the symptoms of food poisoning, which including vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, please call the Missoula County Health Department at 258-4755.

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