According to a recent Kansas City, MO, TV report, critical food code violations are up this season at Kauffman Stadium concession stands. (The Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets are vying in this year’s World Series, and their first two games were played Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at Kauffman Stadium.) The Oct. 27, 2015, KSHB report stated that Kansas City Health Department inspectors had found 146 violations at stadium food outlets during 176 inspections this year, as opposed to 129 critical violations during 167 inspections last year. However, Naser Jouhari, manager of the department’s Environmental Health Services Division, told the station that the cited problems were fixed and that the department would be keeping an eye on food safety issues at Kauffman Stadium. “The Health Department food safety inspectors will continue inspecting the food service operations at the stadium during the World Series to ensure the food being served is safe,” he said, adding, “All violations in previous inspections have been addressed with the food management company. All critical violations have been corrected either on site or during follow up inspections.” The most recently cited critical violations at Kauffman Stadium concessions involved improper handling (for example, a cashier scooping ice with bare hands from an ice machine), mold/black residue (on keg lines, the top interior of an ice machine, and soda fountain dispensers), and pest control problems (for example, dead flies in an ice scoop bucket and rat feces under a soda cooler and hot box). David Freireich, a spokesman for Aramark, told the TV station that the company’s stadium employees were coordinating with the city’s health department to guarantee the safety of food sold there. Aramark is the contracted management company which has operated the food concessions at Kauffman Stadium since 2007. “Our team at Kauffman Stadium has worked closely with the Kansas City Health Department throughout the entire season to ensure the food we serve at The K is safe to eat. We are proud of our food safety record and look forward to continuing to provide fans an enjoyable dining experience during the World Series,” he said. There has been ongoing controversy over Aramark’s management of the Kansas City stadium food concessions, ranging from complaints about the quality of $1 hot dogs and the firing this past March of Jonathan Costa, who had been the company’s district safety manager, after he reported his food safety concerns to the health department and to local media outlets.
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