Unsettling trend of food safety violations at sports stadiums uncovered

You might want to rethink your ballpark hot dog. And your peanuts. And Cracker Jacks. PIZZA-SPITTER AT DETROIT'S COMERICA PARK SENTENCED TO PROBATION A report released Thursday by ESPN’s Outside The Lines showed a high amount of food safety violations at concession stands at major professional sports venues around the country. In 111 MLB, NHL, NFL … Continue reading “Unsettling trend of food safety violations at sports stadiums uncovered”

You might want to rethink your ballpark hot dog. And your peanuts. And Cracker Jacks.

PIZZA-SPITTER AT DETROIT'S COMERICA PARK SENTENCED TO PROBATION

A report released Thursday by ESPN’s Outside The Lines showed a high amount of food safety violations at concession stands at major professional sports venues around the country.

In 111 MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA stadiums, 16,900 inspections were conducted between 2016 and 2017. Of the inspections, 28 percent resulted in high-level violations – one that “poses a potential threat for foodborne illness” – at half or more of the food concession stands, which the National Association of Concessionaires attribute as a $2 billion industry, ESPN reported.

Among the violations were meats left at dangerous temperatures that could potentially breed bacteria, employees inappropriately handling food for customers, moldy or expired food, dirty or contaminated utensils and the presence of live cockroaches or mice.

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The worst offenders were North Carolina’s Spectrum Center with 92 percent of its concession stands committing violations, Michigan’s The Palace of Auburn Hills – which has permanently closed – at 86.11 percent, and Texas’ American Airlines Center at 83.08 percent.

Colorado’s Coors Field, which had 71.96 percent of its vendors suffering high-violations, was cited for serving a Cracker Jack box with a live mouse, as well as live cockroaches in a trap in a storage room and mouse droppings in food-prep trays and a kitchen floor.

Patricia Buck, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, told ESPN she does not eat at sports arenas because of the “chaotic situation where food is being prepared.”

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"There will be thousands of people at the stadium and there will be maybe 100 at a restaurant, so the sheer number of people being exposed is going to be higher, so it would tend to be riskier if something like contaminated romaine lettuce was going to be served on a taco," Buck said to ESPN.

Though not all sports stadiums had high volumes of food safety violations.

Oakland’s Oracle Area, Georgia’s State Farm Arena and Texas’ NRG Stadium scored a 1.12 percent, 4.17 percent and 4.44 percent for violations respectively.

Restaurant changing name of ‘Crack Fries’ because drug epidemic ‘is not funny’

A small Midwestern chain has decided to change the name of one of its most popular items after receiving feedback from some customers.

Hopcat, a restaurant and bar based in Michigan, has announced their famed Crack Fries will be rebranded to something a little more neutral.

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In a statement, Mark Gray, CEO of Barfly Ventures, LLC, said the name was chosen over a decade ago to be a joke about how good their french fries are.

"We chose the name more than 11 years ago as a reference to the addictive quality of the fries and their cracked pepper seasoning, without consideration for those the drug negatively affected. We were wrong," the company said, Fox 59 reported.

"The crack epidemic and the lasting impact on those it affects is not funny and never was."

Hopcat’s french fries have been ranked as one of “America’s 10 best French Fries” by the Food Network and have earned a serious following. The restaurant even has a tradition of offering free Crack Fries for a year to customers when it opens a new location, WZZM reported.

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Though the company pointed out the recipe will not be changing – just the name – the reactions on social media were split, though most felt the modification is unnecessary.

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Hopcat has not shared what the new name will be – but they will begin reprinting their menus in January 2019 with the updated moniker, Fox 59 reports. Just in time for the chain’s annual fry-eating contest.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Homeless woman throws hot coffee at doughnut shop owner’s face

A homeless woman has reportedly been arrested for throwing hot coffee at a doughnut shop owner’s face while inside the store this weekend.

In the security footage of the incident, Cindy Seam-Kao, the owner of Spudnuts Donuts in Canoga Park, Calif., goes up to the homeless woman to ask her to leave after creating a disturbance.

“Just being loud. Wailing. Scaring the little girl. And that’s what concerned me,” Seam-Kao said to CBSLA.

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While Seam-Kao said the homeless woman, who comes into the shop from time to time, has never been a problem before, Seam-Kao was concerned her behavior was frightening the other customers and asked her to leave.

“I did not expect for her to throw coffee at me,” Seam-Kao said to CBSLA.

In the video, the homeless woman can be seen arguing with Seam-Kao and then throws a large cup of coffee at her face, which also splashes onto the front window. The altercation continues, with Seam-Kao swatting at the woman while the homeless woman kicks her.

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Other employees come and force the woman to leave the shop.

Seam-Kao said she has filed a police report with the city, but feels nothing will be done because of the homeless problem in Los Angeles.

“It feels like we have less rights than they do,” Seam-Kao said of homeless citizens, noting she has been sympathetic to those in need and has several homeless customers. However, this incident may have her practicing more caution with who she allows in the store, she said.

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Homelessness is a large problem in Los Angeles, which had a reported 52,765 sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals living in the major metropolitan area as of May 2018. However, according to data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, 2018 is the first year in four years that homelessness did not rise.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Snack-loving rat spotted in Florida school’s vending machine: ‘I was horrified’

Move over #PizzaRat — and Son of #PizzaRat, and Grandson of #PizzaRat — because there’s a new #SnackRat in town, and he’s not bothering to wait for scraps.

Students at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach. Fla., were treated to an unlikely sight on Wednesday after spotting a rat scurrying through the school’s vending machine, Fox 13 reports.

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Footage taken by one of the 11th-graders shows the rodent crawling amid the snacks and candy as excited students are heard warning each other of the intruder.

“That’s a rat!” one exclaims, while another can be heard warning others to avoid touching it.

WARNING: Video contains explicit language.

"I was horrified, actually to see that at a public school, that this would go on," said Latoya Johnson, whose daughter filmed the video.

The school district has since restricted all access to the vending machine and hired an exterminator, who arrived later on Wednesday, WPTV reported.

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The district had reached out to the vending machine company, as well.

"The vending machine company will need to address the machine issues," a spokesperson confirmed to the outlet.

Little Caesars testing lasagna pizza

Little Caesars has created the ultimate mash-up of Italian foods with a brand-new lasagna pizza. The 14-inch round pie features a toasted Parmesan breadcrumb crust topped with meaty marinara sauce, mini ribbon pasta, Italian sausage and a blend of mozzarella, Muenster and ricotta cheeses.

Alas, there’s a catch. According to food blog Brand Eating, Little Caesars is offering it at select locations in three states only — Ohio, Georgia and West Virginia. More specifically, the pizza has been spotted in Savannah, Georgia, and the greater Huntington, West Virginia, area. People in participating regions can get their paws on this crazy pie for a suggested retail price of $9 a pop. Lasagna pizza is served Hot-N-Ready from 4 to 8 p.m. daily.

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  • In an email to The Daily Meal, a spokesperson for Little Caesars confirmed that this is in fact a test item and is not currently slated to rollout nationwide and that only a select few trial products make the cut for the permanent menu. So if you like the lasagna pizza, make some noise or it’ll disappear forever just like these nine discontinued snack foods we wish they’d bring back.

    Harvard professor who suggested eating only 6 French fries responds to backlash

    You’re not going to win any fans by taking a side against French fries.

    In an article published by The New York Times last week, Eric Rimm, a professor with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, ranked potatoes — or as he called them, “starch bombs” — at the least healthy vegetable Americans could eat, especially when fried.

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    Rimm, who teaches epidemiology and nutrition, went on to suggest that Americans often have a hard time exercising portion control when served a large portion of potatoes, and proposed a simple solution.

    “I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries,” he stated.

    French-fry lovers disagreed vehemently, and shared their feelings on social media — forcing Rimm to respond and clarify his comments.

    Following Rimm’s statements, Twitter users began blasting the notion of stopping after just six fries, with one asking the Times to stop “ruining” his life, while another called for the repeal of Rimm’s degree.

    In addition, an author and dietician who spoke with Today later added that potatoes aren’t nearly as bad as the Times article may have insinuated.

    "A white potato happens to have twice the amount of potassium than a banana, it’s a good source of fiber and it contains vitamin C. Granted, a baked potato would [have] more value and less calories… but let’s not act like fries are void of value," Bonnie Taub-DixTaub-Dix told the outlet.

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    Rimm, meanwhile, responded to the backlash Thursday morning on Twitter, and reiterated that he only meant to suggest that restaurants should try giving patrons a smaller portion if they request it.

    "My suggestion to the NYTimes was that perhaps restaurants should offer a smaller portion size as a tantalizing option to satisfy those with a taste for fries but who don’t want the starch bomb," he wrote in response to a Twitter user who cited Rimm's credentials.

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    The original New York Times article, too, pointed out that the Agriculture Department recommends eating only three ounces of fries. In that same article, Lindsay Moyer, a dietician working with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, also urged diners to eat the smallest amount possible or order something different altogether, or maybe even stop dipping fries in ketchup or mayo.

    “With such an epidemic of obesity, nowadays most of us need to cut back,” Moyer said.

    Cereals inspired by Hostess Donettes and Honey Buns coming from Post in January

    Sick and tired of waiting until an arbitrary afternoon hour to devour your favorite Hostess treats sans judgment? Well, worry no more, because Hostess and Post have teamed up to give you little powdered doughnuts in the a.m.

    In a move nearly predicted by a “Saturday Night Live” skit from 1977, supermarket shoppers will soon be able to buy breakfast cereals inspired by Hostess Donettes and Honey Buns, Delish reported last week.

    "The latest tiny and sweet offerings from Post can be enjoyed in a bowl with milk or straight from the box, for a breakfast everyone will love," Post Consumer Brands and Hostess stated in a press release.

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    The editors at Delish were also treated to an early taste of both items, and described the little Donette cereal bits being “puffier” than Cheerios but crunchier than its namesake doughnut, while the Honey Bun version was likened to Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

    Social media has since conveyed its eagerness to try Post’s upcoming offerings, with one Twitter account even citing this announcement as evidence of a “cereal golden age.”

    The cereals will be available at major supermarkets in January 2019, though Delish says “select stores” may have them in late December.

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    News of Hostess-inspired cereals comes after the brand teamed up with Nestle to produce Sno Ball and Twinkie-flavored ice creams earlier this year. And for the record, John Belushi never predicted those, specifically.

    Swiss airline appropriately offering cheese fondue mid-flight

    Economy passengers flying with Swiss International Air Lines across Europe can enjoy cheese fondue in the skies starting on Dec. 1.

    The airline is renewing its recently launched Swiss Saveurs menu concept, which allows passengers across cabins to order a la carte food, drink and snack options inspired by traditional Swiss dishes.

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  • The offerings for the 2018-2019 winter season include a traditional Swiss cheese fondue made of 50 percent Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese (noted for its nutty flavors and long-lasting taste) and 50 percent Gruyère cheese. The fondue is served alongside bread for dipping.

    New menu options also include hot chocolate (made fresh from Swiss chocolate), freshly baked pain au lait served with a Cailler chocolate bar, and a Carac tartlet, a tartlet made with shortcrust pastry and filled with dark chocolate praline before being topped with bright green frosting.

    The fondue is available for a price of 17 Swiss Franc (about $17) on flights from Geneva to Malaga, Athens, Stockholm, Moscow, Gothenburg, Hurghada, Lisbon, St. Petersburg, and Marrakesh, and can also be paired with a charcuterie board complete with cured ham, Gruyere salami, and dried meats.

    While the airline has offered cheese fondue in the past, this is the first time economy passengers can enjoy the treat, according to The Local.

    Passengers looking to purchase the local dishes can pay for them directly on the flight, while Swiss also offers the ability to have snacks that range from pastries and sandwiches to salads delivered right to your gate for orders placed up to an hour before departure.

    Washington-based potato chip company sued for using ‘Hawaiian’ name

    Consumers of “Hawaiian” brand potato chips have filed a class-action lawsuit, claiming the name is misleading because the chips are made in Washington state.

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    Michael Maeda of Honolulu and Iliana Sanchez of Los Angeles filed the suit against Pinnacle Foods Inc. last month, accusing the parent company of false and deceptive advertising, the Honolulu State-Advertiser reported.

    Maeda and Sanchez allege consumers would not be inclined to either pay the high price or purchase the potato chips, which feature tropical Hawaiian landscapes and hula dancers on the package, if they knew the food was made in Washington and not the Aloha State, the Associated Press reported.

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    Though the packaging does not state the chips are made in Hawaii, the pair state in the lawsuit that the brand is practicing fraudulent and unfair business practices to sell the snacks.

    Tim’s Cascade Snacks sells the Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips, which are made in Algona, Washington, the suit claims.

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    The lawsuit, which was filed in state court, was moved to federal court last week, Associated Press reported.

    Cafe’s ‘stupid’ deconstructed ham sandwich prompts backlash online

    When you order a sandwich you have a pretty good idea of what to expect: two pieces of bread with some filling in-between.

    This is probably what one customer thought they would get when they ordered a ham sandwich from a Sydney, Australia cafe but what was set down on the table was completely different.

    Reddit user MiloXF uploaded a photo of the “sandwich” their cousin ordered, showing a completely deconstructed meal served in two cardboard boxes.

    My cousin ordered a sandwich and received this.. from r/australia

    Instead of being presented with a regular sandwich the customer was presented with all the ingredients and expected to put it together themselves.

    On one side there were two slices of bread and some butter, while on there other there was ham and various salad items.

    The meal was topped off with a bowl of mustard and a gherkin.

    Not only did they have to assemble the sandwich themselves, the deconstructed meal cost them $17 dollars AUD ($12.29 USD).

    It is unclear what cafe the sandwich was ordered from but Reddit users were quick to express their disbelief at the meal.

    “If I wanted to make a sandwich myself I would have stayed at home and done it,” one user said.

    Another asked: “Did he order it at Ikea?”

    “This is the worst sandwich I have ever seen, I don’t understand the appeal of deconstructing food at all,” one person wrote.

    Other users were more concerned about the salad ingredients.

    “Who the f— has strawberries on a sandwich?” they asked.

    Another agreed, writing: “The stupidest thing of all in that pic is the dumb strawberry!”

    Though the poster didn’t state what cafe the meal was from, some users suggested that it may have been bought from Bread & Circus in Alexandria, which describes itself as a “wholefoods canteen.”

    On their lunch menu they offer a “free-range preservative-free smoked ham sandwich box” for $17.

    News.com.au has contacted Bread & Circus for comment.

    Read the full article on news.com.au.