Thirty-seven critical health-code violations were committed at Kansas City’s two professional sports stadiums, according to a report on Friday by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines." Jon Costa, a food safety manager for Aramark Sports and Entertainment, presented evidence and detailed conditions of the unsanitary food conditions at the Royals’ Kauffman Stadium and the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium.
Costa sent information about cockroaches in vending areas, mice feces, expired pizza dough and meat kept at unsafe temperatures to ESPN and local news last week after months of trying to get Aramark senior management to address the situation. Costa also sent pictures to the City of Kansas City Health Department, where he had previously been employed.
“It’s alarming. It is very alarming,” health department division manager Naser Jouhari told ESPN.
Two food services employees told OTL that they were ordered to serve pizza to fans despite dough that was four days past its expiration date.
The claims made by Costa, who joined Aramark in 2012, were described as “unsubstantiated” and by a “disgruntled employee,” according to a statement by Tod MacKenzie, Aramark’s senior vice president of communications and public affairs.
Aramark has food and beverage contracts with 30 professional sports teams.
“It's completely contrary to everything that we have done in there,” Marc Bruno, chief operating officer of Aramark Sports and Entertainment, said of the allegations, according to ESPN. “Food safety is the top priority, No. 1 at Aramark and No. 1 in Kansas City and all our operations.”
Health department inspectors re-inspected the 20 stands that had violations and said all of them had been corrected.
Both the Royals and Chiefs issued a statement.
The Royals wrote: “We take great pride in promoting an atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium that Royals fans of all ages can enjoy. The excitement and energy running through the stadium was on full display during the World Series and our partners, including Aramark, play an important role in creating those memories. Food and beverage is integral to the fan experience and Aramark has been a valued partner in delivering those services to fans. We all take food service, safety and quality very seriously.”
“We're continually looking for new ways to enhance the fan experience and, for the past four seasons, we have partnered with Aramark to transform and elevate our general concession areas. The food and beverage service and selections delivered by Aramark are important parts of the Arrowhead experience,” the Chiefs wrote.