KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The food at Kauffman Stadium is safe to eat. Those words come from the president of Aramark food service, as the Kansas City Royals and the team's concessions provider confront reports of unfit food from the public.
Carl Mittleman, Aramark's president, says his company has never failed a health department inspection at Kauffman Stadium. That company has been the food service provider at the stadium since 2007, and according to Aramark's figures, it employs 700 people at 70 food and beverage locations within the ballpark.
Mittleman says Aramark takes every complaint seriously, and he wants to assure Royals fans his food is safe to eat. He took media members on a brief tour of stadium food preparation facilities and concession stands on Tuesday afternoon.
The gesture comes amid complaints form the public concerning the quality of food served at the stadium, particularly during last Friday's "Buck Night," when photos of moldy and burned hot dogs purchased at the stadium were posted to social media outlets.
"They reflect six hot dogs out of 63,000 that we served on Friday night," Mittleman said. He also said that number amounts to a record number of hot dogs sold for a single event at the stadium.
"This year alone. we've had more health department inspections than most restaurants will have in a year or two. We've had a third-party independent quality assurance group on site here since March monitoring our operation," he explained.
Mittleman says that includes Monday, when local health department inspectors paid another visit to Kauffman Stadium. Mittleman says those inspectors didn't find any significant violations. He says the hot dog in the photo posted to social media doesn't appear moldy to him. Instead, he says, it looks like char from the foil the food was wrapped in, and leaving it too close to a heat source could have caused it.
"I will reiterate," Mittleman said. "The food at Kauffman Stadium is safe to eat."
Toby Cook, Royals vice president of community affairs, says the ballclub supports Aramark, and appreciate the company's move toward transparency.
"We understand that fans have been upset by the reports," Cook said. "We've been upset by the reports. Aramark has been upset by the reports. We just want to make things right from here on out.
Mittleman said it's his experience that so-called critical violations can happen during a health department inspection, but those can be as minor as an empty hand soap dispenser. He says he and his administrative team from Aramark will be on hand on Tuesday, ensuring that food service standards are met during the Royals home game against Minnesota.