North Star Amusements food troubles continue


KALISPELL, Mont. - North Star Amusements is one of the concession companies supplying rides as well as some food booths at this weeks Northwest Montana Fair. They came under fire last week when three of their food vendors were forced to close in Missoula and they are facing more questions now in Kalispell.

After initial inspections Wednesday afternoon, Flathead County sanitarians decided that the Candy Stand, operated by North Star, did not meet their cleanliness qualifications. This does not mean they are closed for good, but they have to clean things up before they can open.

The Candy Stand is one of three vendors that was closed last week in Missoula when unrefrigerated meat was discovered.

We wanted to find out what goes into a health inspection, so we followed along with Sanitarian Kate Cassidy as she inspected a food booth. She looked at everything from food temperatures, to the proper use of sanitizer in sinks and she even made sure that lights had proper shields on them.

"We're really looking at food safety, making sure that people are handling the food correctly, storage, refrigeration," said Cassidy.

Some fair-goers we spoke to said it is scary to think that these problems keep arising.

"If it happened two weeks in a row, stomach hurts a little bit just thinking about it," said Emily Dardis of Kalispell.

Sanitarians will be back at the fair Thursday, making sure that the food is safe to eat.

"Today, tomorrow, we do routine inspections, and if we see that we need to go back to do a follow-up inspection we will be there for the follow-up," said Cassidy.

The lowest grade health inspectors gave out on Wednesday was a B-. There were no temperature violations, but sanitarians will be checking temperatures again Thursday.