FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2015
Kansas City Health Department responds to recent food safety claims at Kauffman Stadium
The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department is dedicated to the routine inspection of all Kansas City food establishments to ensure that food served to the public is of the highest standard, and to determine if food is free of the risks associated with food-borne illness. The Department reports that, within the last week, food inspectors have responded to two fraudulent food safety complaints made at Kauffman Stadium.
“Kansas City’s Health Department performs thousands of inspections each year, and each complaint is taken seriously,” said Naser Jouhari, Environmental Health Services Division Manager. “The reporting of deliberately false claims does a disservice to our entire community and wastes taxpayer dollars.”
In one case, an individual contacted the City’s 311 Action Center impersonating an Aramark food service employee to report supposed safety issues. The Health Department uncovered the false claim when following-up with the employee; in this case it was discovered that the person’s identity was deliberately misrepresented. In another case, an individual sent a tweet to the Health Department’s Twitter account and posted a photo of unsafe food allegedly served at Kauffman Stadium. Further investigation determined the photo was lifted from an unrelated Florida news story and falsely represented as food served at Kauffman Stadium.
“Food safety is our highest priority and the Kansas City Health Department continues to be supportive of our safety program and practices,” said Carl Mittleman, President of Aramark’s sports and entertainment division. “We respect the Health Department’s obligation to follow up on complaints; however, we find the nature and timing of multiple attempts to undermine our efforts to be very troubling. We are committed to the highest standards of food safety and our employees work hard to ensure those standards are achieved.”
“We are committed to providing fans with an exceptional ballpark experience at Kauffman Stadium,” Kevin Uhlich, Senior Vice President, Business Operations, Kansas City Royals. “We all take food service, safety and quality very seriously and have confidence in the proactive steps Aramark has taken to enhance its food safety program and the Health Department’s commitment to ensuring a fun-filled dining experience for our fans.”
The Kansas City Health Department continues to make regular inspections at food handling facilities within Kauffman Stadium. This year, the Department has made 10 visits and conducted 147 inspections; the most recent inspection at Kauffman Stadium occurred on Friday, June 19, as a follow-up to a complaint received by the Health Department. The results of this inspection and all previous inspections can be found online.
Food safety is a responsibility of the Health Department’s Environmental Public Health Program. This program handles permitting and inspecting all food establishments in Kansas City, Mo. It also responds to complaints about food establishments. Kansas City’s Environmental Health Services Program has 15 inspectors dedicated to protecting the health of residents and visitors. Routine inspections, re-inspections, temporary food event stands and complaint investigations are tools to ensure food establishments are complying with the Kansas City, Missouri Food Code.
Complaints about any food safety issue may be submitted to the Action Center at 3-1-1. Concerns about food establishments can be submitted anonymously.
Media inquiries on this topic should be directed to the Health Department media phone at 816-719-3610.