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Kansas City's Stadium Food Has a Losing Record

"Poor food handling and dirty conditions have routinely been putting fans' health at risk."

Royals fans line up outside Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. Hopefully, they ate beforehand.
Royals fans line up outside Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. Hopefully, they ate beforehand.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium, home to Kansas City's professional baseball and football franchises, respectively, have a pretty terrible record when it comes to food safety. ESPN's Outside the Lines has a report detailing issues with mouse feces, cockroaches, mold, and more:

Among the concerns found at the stadiums by the manager: cockroaches in vending areas, mouse feces on the same tray as pizza dough, sinks where employees were supposed to wash their hands being blocked by boxes or trash, employees eating in food prep areas and trays of food headed for customers that measured at unsafe temperatures. The health department found several critical violations, including mold growth in ice machines, dirty pans and trays and excessive numbers of fruit flies.

The information comes from Jon Costa, who is the food safety manager at Aramark Sports and Entertainment, the company in charge of concessions at both stadiums. Costa said he reported the myriad of health code violations to ESPN because senior management at his company failed to respond to his concerns.

"When we lose control over hygienic practices and we also combine that with poor temperature control -- that could be a catastrophe," Costa told ESPN. "That is a recipe for foodborne illness. ... It's very likely temperatures are abused every game. Every game."

The Kansas City Royals just completed their best season in nearly 30 years, coming within one victory of a World Series title. However, pizza dough served at the stadium expired long before the Royals' championship dreams.

Costa said managers have not been promoting food safety, especially among the food prep workers who actually handle the ingredients, as evidenced by a scene he described from the final game of the World Series on Oct. 29. The concession stands were running low on pizza dough, and a prep worker told him that she was left with a tray of dough that had expired Oct. 25.

"She says to me that she called our supplier and our supplier told her, 'Do not serve dough that is expired,'" Costa said. "However, our manager stepped in and said, 'You will sell the dough. You will sell the dough.'"

Despite the fairly revolting allegations, Aramark, the Royals, and the Kansas City Chiefs all responded by saying food safety is their top priority.

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