MISSOULA, Mont. -

Earlier this week, health officials with the Missoula City-County Health Department told three Western Montana Fair food vendors to dump out hundreds of pounds of various food items after they weren't properly refrigerated. 

Health officials tell NBC Montana that the vendors in question are Route 66, Delightful Goodies and the Candy Stand.

Officials noted some food packaging appeared puffy, which means that bacteria could have popped up on the food.

According to health officials they are all North Star vendors.  However, Kelsey McKay, an office manager for a subcontractor, told NBC Montana the vendors are actually run by a different subcontractor.

McKay says North Star assigned her to deal with the tainted meat situation. She told NBC Montana that she doesn't know the name of that other subcontractor's company, but said the woman who runs it replaced a different manager who had been let go, and she was trying to play catch up for an operation that had not been properly managed in the past.

"The food that had to be disposed of was food that had not been properly rotated from the previous manager -- was left in a freezer -- and she was not aware of it actually being there to begin with," said McKay.

McKay said the woman had no intention of selling the tainted product or saving it.

"She was not aware that there was that problem there until they went to go inspect the stock trucks and she realized that that freezer, somebody had unplugged a cord.  She wasn't aware of that and that there had been some old food in there from a long time previous," said McKay.

Regardless of the reason, health officials said they check on the vendors routinely.

"Throwing out large quantities of food like this under any circumstance is not a common thing," said Alisha Johnson, an environmental health specialist for the Missoula City-County Health Department.

McKay says she doesn't believe tainted meat was sold, though health officials say it is possible. Anyone who thinks they may be sick as a result of the tainted food is asked to call the Health Department at 258-3896.

"Seeing something to this degree is incredibly concerning. It's shocking, actually, that somebody would take food from Sidney, Montana, drive it all the way to Missoula without any refrigeration," said Johnson.

Click here for additionaldocuments from the Health Department.