Fans of the Kansas City Royals or Chiefs, the Missouri city's pro baseball and NFL teams, who attended home games recently might have had their health put at risk, a new assessment from the health department found.
Inspectors found cockroaches, mice feces, dirty sinks and more at Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums that were deemed critical health violations, according to ESPN's "Outside the Lines."
Jon Costa, a food safety manager, for a concession vendor at the stadiums took pictures and reported the violations to health officials. Here he points to what he told ESPN are mice feces next to pizza dough. (Image source: ESPN)
"When we lose control over hygienic practices and we also combine that with poor temperature control, that could be a catastrophe," Jon Costa, a food safety manager for Aramark, which has concessions at both stadiums, told ESPN. "That is a recipe for foodborne illness."
According to ESPN, Costa reached out to them with his concerns when he said leadership failed to step in and fix the system. Costa also sent information to the health department earlier this month, which visited the stadium that same day.
Marc Bruno, chief operating officer for Aramark, told ESPN that the information Costa gave the media was "completely contrary to everything that we've done in there."
"Food safety is the top priority, No. 1 at Aramark and No. 1 in Kansas City and all our operations, he added.
Tod MacKenzie, senior vice president of communications and public affairs with the company echoed similar sentiments to ESPN:
"The unsubstantiated claims raised by a disgruntled employee are very troubling, as is his unknown motivation," MacKenzie said. "Especially disturbing is the fact that this individual is personally responsible and entrusted with managing food safety at the locations in question. ...
"The random collection of isolated and questionable photographs that the employee distributed represents selective snapshot 'moments-in-time' that without proper context can support any number of conclusions."
But Naser Jouhari with the health department told the sports website what inspectors found was "shocking." At the time of its first visit with no events that day, violations were found in 20 out of 26 concession stands at both stadiums. When they were re-inspected less than two weeks later, ESPN reported that they passed.
Costa was placed on paid leave for the information he sent to media, a violation of company policy, ESPN reported.
Watch ESPN's video with Costa speaking about what he witnessed:
Read the full "Outside the Lines" report and see photos of some of the violations taken by the health department.