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Surprise health inspections reveal some violations at Mizzou Arena

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Inspection records completed at Mizzou Arena during the 2018-2019 basketball season show which concession stands had the most and least amount of violations.

"Our number one priority is the safety of our guests, we want people coming to the game to be focused on the game, not food safety, that’s our job," University of Missouri Spokesperson Liz McCune said.

According to McCune, MU completed intermittent, random inspections at concession stands inside Mizzou Arena.

"We are taking a look at the whole food delivery process from food prep to when they are actually serving it to our customers," McCune said. "We’re making sure they’re following food safety protocols."

McCune said MU's inspectors look to make sure employees are washing their hands, making sure hot foods are kept hot and cold foods are kept cold. She said their inspectors also take temperatures of the food served to guests.

Environmental health inspectors from Boone County/Columbia Public Health Department do not inspect the Mizzou Arena, however, they inspect companies that operate inside the stadium, such as Andy's Frozen Custard.

At least 15 places inside Mizzou Arena got a visit from MU's own environmental health department.

The Coca-Cola stand inside Mizzou Arena had the most violations with 14. The issues included multiple food items not in the correct temperature range and employees putting their shoes on the handle of the hot dog warmer.

"I took a look at the reports on the Coca Cola stand and they were very minor in nature and they were either corrected immediately or there was a plan to correct what was going on within 72-hours. It’s important to note that if our inspector has any concern about public health, that we would immediately close down that stand," McCune said.

McCune said to her knowledge MU has never had to close down a concession stand.

The concession stand with the second most violations was Dickey's BBQ with 9. Those violations included a leaking sink, food not in the correct temperature range and jalapenos stored in the sink that is only supposed to be used to wash employee's hands.

On the other hand, at least three concession stands inside Mizzou Arena only got one violation during the 2018 - 2019 season.

Those include, Andy's Frozen Custard, Bunker Bar and Loge North.

“This is just a really important part of our job, we want to make sure the public is kept safe when they are visiting any of our facilities and when it comes to food safety, we are all on the same team and that’s for our fans to have a fun and safe experience," McCune said.

MU contracts with Learfield Levy Foodservice to provide services for the concession stands. Their contract is up for renewal in 2020.

I contacted Learfield Levy Foodservice and MU Deputy Athletics Director Nick Joos. Both declined to comment on their existing relationship and if that partnership will continue in the future.

ABC 17 News Investigates / Behind the Kitchen Door / Columbia Video / Top Stories / Top Stories / University of Missouri / Video
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Zara Barker

Zara Barker is an anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News. She anchors the Breaking News Desk during the morning newscast and anchors the 9 a.m. broadcast.

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