Flagging the Food - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

13 Investigates

Flagging the Food

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Flagging the Food - An Eyewitness News investigation finds hundreds of critical food safety violations at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Flagging the Food - Part 2 - 13 Investigates tallies up the numbers and shows you why inspectors have issued thousands of dollars in fines against the stadium's food service provider.

Health inspectors to return to Lucas Oil Stadium - 13 Investigates has learned health inspectors are heading back to Lucas Oil Stadium.

13 Investigates Test: Feces and rubber in stadium hallways - 13 Investigates found a substance in event-level hallways at Lucas Oil Stadium and the small, black objects quickly set off controversy. Are they mouse droppings or are they something else? Scientific testing now puts the controversy to rest, but raises new questions about cleanliness at Lucas Oil Stadium.

New Centerplate reports show improvement, but problems remain - Eyewitness News has new exclusive information concerning the safety of the food served at Lucas Oil Stadium. New health reports were released Monday.

Hotline number:

Centerplate has set up a hotline for fans with questions about food service at the stadium: The number is (800) 578-7378.

Colts statement issued Nov. 13:

Centerplate Announces Joint Inspections of Lucas Oil Stadium with the Marion County Health Department

Centerplate, the hospitality partner to North America's premier convention centers and sports stadiums, announced today that it has been working very closely with the Marion County Health Department to correct any issues at Lucas Oil Stadium. At Centerplate's invitation, the MCHD preliminarily toured the facilities yesterday and today to assist the company in identifying any issues. As of today, MCHD has notified the company that the identified defects in the stadium have been corrected.

Although this inspection and corrective steps is a positive sign, the company is continuing to partner with MCHD to take aggressive action. To date, in response to the recent food safety violations, Centerplate has hired additional operations management; more than doubled the internal health safety audit team; created a 24-hour hotline for fans and staff to immediately report any concern or known food service violation; and contracted with Orkin for daily inspections to accelerate efforts to remediate and prevent against pest control issues.

"I can assure you that we will deliver a safe and enjoyable environment to Colts fans attending this weekend's game" said Des Hague, CEO and president of Centerplate. "We have taken aggressive action in partnership with Health Department and we will continue to diligently measure our performance."

Centerplate press release (Nov. 12):

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 12, 2009) - Centerplate, the hospitality partner to North America's premier convention centers and sports stadiums, announced today with the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) that its currently undergoing a comprehensive investigation of Lucas Oil Stadium to immediately address all known food safety violations, ensuring that the facility operates as a model of operational excellence and exceeds all Health Department guidelines. Centerplate's executive leadership including CEO and president Des Hague, EVP of operations George Wooten, SVP Bob Pascal, and VP John Shelton, among several other key executives, are undergoing a deep review with CIB executive director Barney Levengood and the venue's operations team that will result in enhanced processes and procedures, providing the safest and most enjoyable environment possible for every guest at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Among the immediate steps being taken by Centerplate and CIB are the hiring of additional operations management and maintaining senior leadership on-site as the review is carried out; more than doubling the health auditor team with nine additional experts whose sole purpose is to work in partnership with the Marion County Health Department to ensure all issues are fully addressed; creating a 24-hour hotline for fans and staff to voice comments and concerns easily and quickly; and significantly accelerating efforts with the pest control company including additional monitoring stations. Centerplate currently ensures that 100% of its employees pass the food and safety training program developed by the Marion County Health Department, and an additional 25% of these employees are ServSafe certified, going up and beyond the national standard.

"It is of the utmost importance that Colts' fans and every guest at Lucas Oil Stadium be 100% confident they are in a clean and safe environment," said Des Hague, CEO and president of Centerplate. "Our number one goal is for fans to focus on who is playing on the field and to have a great experience within the stadium."

"We are deeply committed to meeting the food safety guidelines provided by the Marion County Health Department," said Patrick J. Early, vice president for CIB. "With the immediate steps being taken in partnership with Centerplate, we will ensure that the venues food service operations meet the standards set by the Marion County Health Department."

To ensure that all Health Department guidelines are met at every event in Lucas Oil Stadium, Centerplate is diligently working to enhance current communication, education and training programs. Through these strengthened processes and procedures across all operations, Centerplate is committed to providing the safest possible environment for every guest at Lucas Oil Stadium. About Centerplate Centerplate operates more than 140 prominent sports, entertainment and convention center venues across North America. Centerplate has provided services to 11 Super Bowls, 19 World Series, key events for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 15 official U.S. Presidential Inaugural Balls, over 100 major College Bowl Games and the largest plated dinner in history at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Centennial Celebration. Visit the company online.

Colts send letter to fans

Tuesday evening, the Indianapolis Colts e-mailed the following message to season ticket holders about the 13 Investigates report: 

There was a recent media report concerning the sanitation and safety of certain food operations areas inside Lucas Oil Stadium.  The Indianapolis Colts are in the process of confirming that any problem is promptly resolved.  Nothing is more important to the Indianapolis Colts than the health and safety of our fans.  We also believe that anything that can be controlled, such as sanitation, should never be compromised.  The entities directly in control of food operations at Lucas Oil Stadium, Centerplate and the CIB, have assured us that they are thoroughly investigating the report and that any issues they identify will be corrected immediately.  We are monitoring the progress of the investigation and we have every confidence that the professionals at Centerplate and the CIB will fulfill their commitment.

Sincerely,
The Indianapolis Colts

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