MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015 - (Page 8)

C O M M E N TA R Y The not-so-great outdoors In the name of full disclosure: I have worked as a foodservice grunt at almost every conceivable type of venue and event imaginable. Yes, I've supervised and slung more cocktails, flat beer and plastic flutes of champagne from rodent-infested concession stands and open-air bars, to more Dallas socialites attending outdoor events than you could shake a Neiman Marcus credit card at. And while I doubt if this still holds true in 2015, tolerating a certain number of cockroaches, some occasional mouse droppings and moldy food sightings back in the early 1990s was often all in a day's work in my former foodservice life. It was part of a "Kitchen Confidential"-like reality that included working 80-hour weeks, hosting special events in barns, under tents, on patios and pool side, often all at the same time. When foodservice shifts outdoors, balancing logistical reality and customer expectations often When dining becomes a see-saw ride. Many venues shift factors must be considered when outdoors, food preparing, holding, transporting safety shouldn't and serving food and beverages for concession service, which includes falter. the ol' ball game. I learned this the hard way and in hindsight, keeping menus basic can help keep food and customers safe in non-traditional, outdoor venues. Consumers have come to expect the same quality, variety and food-safety assurances regardless of venue and operators aren't always ready to meet the challenge. At press time, baseball fans across the country were counting down the weeks until Major League Baseball's Opening Day, complete with all the pageantry, sights, sounds, aromas and tastes that are synonymous with the national pastime at stadiums throughout the US and Canada. In Kansas City, home of the American League Champion Royals, March 17 marked 20 days until the hometown heroes would defend their title at KC's Kauffman Stadium. 8 MEAT+ POULTRY | 04.15 | www.meatpoultry.com For Jon Costa, March 17 was the day he was notified that he had been fired "for cause" from his position as a food-safety manager of Kauffman Stadium and the Kansas City Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium. According to local media reports that were picked up by ESPN, Costa was first placed on administrative leave after going public with information and photographic evidence of unacceptable food-safety practices ranging from cockroaches in vending areas to mouse feces on trays of pizza dough and more. He first brought his concerns to the attention of managers on-site, but was ignored, claiming he was not empowered to act in a supervisory role and hadn't been trained to reprimand those managers. Ultimately, Costa went to the press just after the 2014 World Series, where his concerns and photos got plenty of attention. The claims also garnered the attention of city health inspectors, who sited concession areas at the two stadiums with 37 critical violations, including the presence of mold in ice machines, excessive fruit flies and using dirty pans and trays. The spotlight shined even brighter in mid-March when Costa shared the letter he was sent by Aramark, stating a number of reasons for his termination, including violation of its media policy. The letter states Costa bucked protocol with health inspectors and hampered Aramark's relationship with the health department. In a statement on the matter, Aramark defended its track record at the two stadiums. The company claims more than 17 million fans have been served at games and events there since 2007 and never has an illness been linked to its operations. As plaintiffs and defendants prepare to square off over an issue based on the safety of concession food, it has purists like me waxing for the days when watching a ball game kept fans engaged and peanuts and Cracker Jacks were safe and satisfying enough. J O E L C R E WS, E D I TO R | J C R E WS @ S OS L A N D.CO M http://www.meatpoultry.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015

MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
COMMENTARY - The not-so-great outdoors
BUSINESS NOTES - MCDONALD’S ANTIBIOTICS POLICY SPARKS REACTION
SANDERSON NAMES SITE FOR NEW POULTRY PLANT
TYSON PLANT TO UNDERGO $47M UPGRADE
WAYNE FARMS FILES FOR IPO
OMP TO ACQUIRE CONAGRA PLANT
WASHINGTON - Advisors’ idle hands at issue
BURGER REPORT - Graze Craze
OVERCOMING OFF-FLAVORS
FRESH MATTERS
SLIDING INTO FIRST
FOOD SAFETY - SHORING-UP GROUND-BEEF SAFETY
SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS - New kid on the block
PACKAGING SOLUTIONS - MAKING A CASE
INDUSTRY EDUCATION - AGGIE-STYLE MEAT EDUCATION
INGREDIENT ISSUES - CLEANING UP
LIFERS - A MAN OF DISTINCTION
SHOW PREVIEW - PROCESSORS UNITE
FROM THE CORRAL - Handling keeps improving
SHOWCASE
NAMES IN THE NEWS
CLASSIFIEDS
ADVERTISERS
THE INSIDER

MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015

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