Catering truck shut down; food prepared in tent

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

Food prepared in backyard tent

Fife, Wash. - King County health inspectors shut down Ven's Cruise Ship Catering when they discovered the truck had no permit.

The investigation began last week when neighbors in Fife complained that a homeowner was dumping wastewater illegally. That's when Fife officials discovered a resident at 5804 Harry Smith Road East in Fife was preparing food in a backyard tent without a license. The food was then put on a catering truck for workers on board ships docked at Seattle's Pier 91. They planned to sell food there last weekend.

Seattle/King County health inspectors were alerted. Early Sunday morning, they inspected the truck. What they found was alarming. "They had no refrigeration, no way to keep the food really cold or really hot," said Rosemary Byrne, Seattle/King County senior health inspector. She said the food was on a table, "just at room temperature. And you know last weekend it was really hot and so the food was like 71, 80 degrees."

Byrne shut the truck down. "We told him (the owner) in order to do this, he would have to do it legally," she said. She said she doesn't know how long the truck was at Pier 91.

A spokesman for the Port of Seattle said officials there rely on the firm that runs the cruise terminal to hire licensed contractors. Peter McGraw said the next catering truck that is hired will be properly licensed.