Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Safe Food at Stadiums

The following article highlights a major concern that can be addressed with proper training. The key if for both management and employees to treat their work similar to their house and that they would not want to be served bad food nor would they want to serve their friends bad food.


If hefty price tags, long lines and marginal quality hadn't convinced you to avoid eating concessions at professional sporting events, an ESPN report might do the job.

The network recently compiled a list of 2009 health-inspection reports from every major professional sports venue (MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA) in North America and the results were startling.

Health inspectors found rodent droppings, improper hand-washing, bacterial growth, poor refrigeration, expired meat and the presence of toxic material — and those were just the “critical violations.” More than half of the vendors were cited for such violations at one-third of the venues. And at two stadiums, Tropicana Field in Tampa and the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., inspectors cited all of the vendors for critical violations.

Some of the lowlights from the report, courtesy of ESPN:

Verizon Center (Washington D.C.) — Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors.

Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati) — Inspectors saw an employee scraping food debris from a spatula using the trash bin and then trying to continue using the same spatula without cleaning it.

St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa) — At one location with five critical violations, an inspector saw an employee handle dirty dishes and then put away clean dishes without washing his/her hands or changing gloves. The same location lacked soap at a hand sink.

Staples Center (Los Angeles) — One stand dumped 9.5 pounds of sushi after inspectors found that it had become too warm.

One could argue that if you're ordering sushi at a basketball game, you're playing with fire, but it’s reasonable for fans to expect that whatever food they're ordering at a game is safe and properly handled.

[America's best baseball stadiums]

It should be noted that each state has different inspection requirements, so an 84 percent violation rate at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa doesn't necessarily mean that the vendors there are six times as dirty as ones at Candlestick Park (13 percent). Florida had the worst overall violation rate, but that’s likely a result of tougher inspection criteria rather than a systemic statewide penchant for improperly washed sinks.

Chicago stadiums had the lowest percentage of vendors with critical violations; that could be because city inspectors make their visits when the stadiums are empty and no employee is handling or serving food. (Gotta lova that Chicago political machine.) Canada also had low violation rates for each venue.

Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots) and Nassau Coliseum (New York Islanders) fared the best; no vendor at either stadium was cited for a critical violation.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Disaster in Germany- One entrance

By MICHAEL SOHN and VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writers Michael Sohn And Vanessa Gera, Associated Press Writers –

DUISBURG, Germany – Crowds of people streaming into a techno music festival surged through an already jammed entry tunnel, setting off a panic that killed 18 people and injured 80 at an event meant to celebrate love and peace.

The circumstances of the stampede Saturday at the famed Love Parade festival in Duisburg in western Germany were still not clear even hours after the chaos, but it appeared that some or most of the 18 had been crushed to death.

Authorities also suggested that some of the people killed or injured might have attempted to flee the crowd by jumping over a barrier and falling several meters (yards). Witnesses described a desperate scene, as people piled up on each other or scrambled over others who had fallen in the crush.

"The young people came to celebrate and instead there are dead and injured," said Chancellor Angela Merkel. "I am horrified by the suffering and the pain."

Criticism quickly fell on city officials for allowing only one entrance to the grounds of a hugely popular event that drew hundreds of thousands of people to dance, watch floats and listen to DJs spin. German media said 1.4 million people attended but that figure could not be immediately confirmed.

The founder of the Love Parade, Matthias Roeingh, known by the name Dr. Motte, blasted the planning for the event, saying "one single entrance through a tunnel lends itself to disaster. I am very sad."

City officials chose not to evacuate the site, fearing it might spark more panic, and many people continued partying, unaware of the deaths.

Emergency workers had trouble getting to the victims, hampered by the huge crowds. The area was a hectic scene, with bodies lying on the ground and people milling around or attending to them. Rescue workers carried away the injured as techno music thundered in the background.

Local media reported that the cell phone system in Duisburg broke down temporarily and frantic parents trying to reach their children instead drove to the scene to look for them.

However, most streets downtown were blocked by police and the highways leading to the city were jammed. Several media outlets also reported that rescue helicopters had problems taking away the heavily injured because there was not enough space for them to land.

Authorities believe the panic might have first been sparked outside the tunnel when some revelers tried to jump over a barrier and fell, said Wolfgang Rabe, the head of the crisis unit set up by Duisburg city authorities.

Police commissioner Juergen Kieskemper said that just before the stampede occurred at about 5 p.m. (1500 GMT, 11 a.m. EDT), police closed off the area where the parade was being held because it was already overcrowded. They told revelers over loudspeakers to turn around and walk back in the other direction before the panic broke out, he said.

Eyewitness Udo Sandhoefer told n-tv television that even though no one else was being let in, people still streamed into the tunnel, causing "a real mass panic."

"At some point the column (of people) got stuck, probably because everything was closed up front, and we saw that the first people were already lying on the ground," he said.

"Others climbed up the walls and tried somehow to get into the grounds from the side, and the people in the crowd that moved up simply ran over those who were lying on the ground."

Another witness, a young man who wasn't named, told n-tv the tunnel became so crowded that people began falling. "It got tighter and tighter from minute to minute and at some point everyone just wanted out," he said. "People were just pushed together until they fell over."

Duisburg city officials decided at a crisis meeting to let the parade go on to prevent more panic and another stampede, said city spokesman Frank Kopatschek.

It is the worst accident of its kind since nine people were crushed to death and 43 more were injured at a rock festival in Roskilde, Denmark, in 2000. That fatal accident occurred when a huge crowd pushed forward during a Pearl Jam gig.

The Love Parade was once an institution in Berlin, but has been held in the industrial Ruhr region of western Germany since 2007.

The original Berlin Love Parade grew from a 1989 peace demonstration into a huge outdoor celebration of club culture that drew about 1.5 million people at its peak in 1999. But it suffered from financial problems and tensions with city officials in later years, and eventually moved.

The website of the Love Parade — whose motto this year was "The Art of Love — went black on Saturday night, with words in white saying:

"Our wish to arrange a happy togetherness was overshadowed by the tragic accidents today. ... Our sincere condolences to all the relatives and our thoughts are with all of those who are currently being taken care of."


Gera reported from Berlin. Associated Press Writers Geir Moulson and Kirsten Grieshaber contributed to this report from Berlin.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Baltimore fan taking his sweet time

The Baltimore Orioles had a field rusher the other day and instead of being aggressive, they let the fan run around for several minutes. I do not condone such a response as it encourages others to follow. A great response is to after, the fact, put a message on the scoreboard highlighting that such conduct is not allowed by fan code of conduct. However, pictures should also be posted of prior field rushers and highlight the specific punishment they received. if there is an atmosphere that such conduct is not acceptable and will be punished harshly it can discourage future breaches.

Here is the stories link: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Security-shrugs-as-O-s-mope-runs-laps-around-Cam?urn=mlb-257721

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Food safety

This message has been cross posted to the following Discussions: Industry Affairs Council and Assembly Managers Open Forum .
As you are already aware, ESPN is scheduled to air a story about food safety in stadiums and arenas across North America on its "Outside the Lines" program. It is our understanding that it may run as soon as this Sunday, July 25.

In anticipation of potential follow-up questions from local media outlets, we recommend the following if and when you are contacted by a reporter:
• Untrained personnel in secured areas always create an added security risk. If you receive requests by camera crews or reporters for behind-the-scenes access to areas where food is prepared (i.e. kitchens, concession stands, pantries, vending rooms, warehouse), we encourage you to politely decline those opportunities.
• Your food and beverage partner is highly skilled in answering questions about food safety issues. If you receive questions about your food operations, consult with your food and beverage partner before granting on-camera interviews or providing statements regarding food safety and health inspections.
• Provide spokesperson contact information for the IAAM and National Restaurant Association (NRA) to address this topic for the industry.
o IAAM: Kris Williams, (972) 538-1006, kris.williams@...
o NRA: Sue Hensley, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs Communications, (202) 331-5964, SHensley@...

Following airing of the story, the IAAM has a statement it would like to share on behalf of the industry. This statement will be posted on our website - www.IAAM.org.

Richard Andersen CFE
Chair, Industry Affairs Council

President & CEO
Edmonton AB
(780) 471-3380

Monday, July 19, 2010

Retail store safety article

I do not endorse or disagree with all or some of these recommendations, but it is an informative article.


Yearly Crowd Control Training

Camanava police come out best in crowd control contest

By Miko Morelos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:11:00 07/18/2010

Filed Under: Police, Protest, Benigno Aquino III

MANILA, Philippines – The Northern Police District (NPD) topped the annual crowd control competition organized by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Saturday, part of authorities’ preparations against protest actions being planned in connection with President Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week.

Composed of police stations from the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela (Camanava), the NPD bested the other police districts in Metro Manila, including the Regional Public Safety Battalion. The winning district displayed its skill in crowd control and in implementing strategies when dealing with different scenarios, NCRPO Director Roberto Rosales said.

Rosales pointed out that the NCRPO’s yearly civil disturbance management (CDM) competition was usually held a week before the President’s SONA to showcase the Philippine National Police’s crowd control capabilities.

“Aside from honing policemen’s skills and knowledge in CDM operations, the tournament is meant to highlight [police] rules and procedures in respecting human rights,” Rosales said during the awarding ceremony held at Rizal Park in Manila.

The Quezon City Police District placed second followed by the Manila Police District. Both police districts usually come into contact with protesters more often because several major government offices, including MalacaƱang, are located in their areas.

Rosales, meanwhile, said he would hold a dialogue with rally organizers on July 21 regarding security measures the police would be taking for Mr. Aquino’s SONA.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

World Cup

Congratulations to South Africa on hosting a relatively safe event. While it is impossible to have a 100% safe event, the 2010 World Cup was uneventful, and I am glad for that. The only scar were bombings in Uganda by Muslim terrorist intent on disrupting other people enjoying sports.

Fan of Conduct in the Far East

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) which governs collegiate sports in the country has developed a fan code of conduct.

The code underlines courtesy toward fans but also exhorts fans to stay only in their ticketed seats, “avoid disruptive behavior, including foul or abusive language or obscene gestures (i.e., fighting, taunting, or engaging in any action that may harm, endanger, threaten, or bring discomfort to anyone in the stadium).” Fans will be warned first, then ejected from the facility if they repeat the misdemeanor.

“Fans carrying signs or wearing clothing with obscene, derogatory or indecent messages will be requested to discard said sign/wear the shirt inside-out. “Fans cannot bring dangerous objects within the facility.

Fans observed to be under the influence of a prohibitive substance (i.e., alcoholic beverage, dangerous drug, etc.)” will be attended to in a prompt and safe manner by facility or security personnel.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Texas Ranger Fan injured

Fan hurt after fall from second deck
By Richard Durrett
ESPNDallas.com; http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/news/story?id=5359438

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A male fan fell off the club level in section 235 and onto the lower deck during Tuesday's Texas Rangers game against the Cleveland Indians. He was stabilized, responsive and moving his extremities as he was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, according to team spokesman John Blake.

The man, identified by the Rangers on Wednesday as Tyler Morris, fell from the club level at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, hit the railing on the suite level and then landed in the lower deck down the first-base line. The drop is about 30 feet. Four other fans were injured and treated by paramedics at the stadium.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan visited with some of the injured fans and said he saw the fall out of his peripheral vision. He said the fan fell on a group of people, including a young boy who had a contusion on his face.

"You are concerned for the individual that it happened to and the people that may have been hurt by the fall," Ryan said. "I was very proud of the job our emergency people did. They got right on it and stabilized him. The people that he fell on, I went up and saw them and they were fine. I think we're very fortunate that it wasn't worse than it is."

The fan fell after Nelson Cruz hit a foul ball down the right-field line in the bottom of the fifth with the score 3-1 in favor of Texas. The man attempted to catch the ball and tumbled over the railing. The event left the ballpark silent, and play was suspended for 16 minutes as the field was cleared. Several players, including Indians shortstop Jason Donald and left fielder Trevor Crowe, were bowing their heads and appeared to be praying while others watched intently as paramedics were attending to the fan. He was taken off by a stretcher.

"I didn't see it, but I heard it," Donald said. "I heard the body hit and I heard the crowd reaction. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened. I was praying that he wouldn't die."

Ryan said he talked to the umpires about making sure the game was stopped as long as necessary to get the fan taken care of and on the way to the emergency room. Ryan said the television near his seats in the owner's box on the front row was out, so he didn't see any replays of the fall.

Michael Young, who was not starting for the first time all season, followed the foul ball as it headed toward the club level.

"It was a pretty disturbing visual," Young said. "I saw the whole thing. When he was about halfway down, I turned my head. I couldn't watch anymore. I'm glad to hear he's all right. I think guys on both sides were pretty shaken up."

Young said the players heard about an inning after the fall that the fan was stable and headed to the hospital.

"Sometimes these ballparks, it's an accident waiting to happen," Young said. "There are a lot of things in ballparks that have to be fixed and you'd like to see people be a little more proactive. We need higher rails so that doesn't happen. I've always said they should bring the nets behind home plate to the other side of the dugouts. Balls zip in there all the time and there are little kids that have seats right behind our dugout."

This is the second time a fan has fallen from an upper deck at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, but the first time during a game. On April 11, 1994, the day of the first home game of the park, Hollye Minter, a 28-year-old from Plano, Texas, was posing for a photograph after the home opener and fell from the railing in the right field "Home Run Porch." She landed on empty seats in the lower level and, according to reports, broke her right arm, two ribs and several bones in her neck.

Rangers officials said they raised the railings in the Home Run Porch after that game from 30½ inches to 46 inches in that area of the ballpark. They are lower in other areas. Ryan said they are up to code.

"The rails meet the specifications that are required," Ryan said. "We have warning signs at each aisle. It's one of those unfortunate things that happened. You can do everything you can to keep those things from happening, but sometimes they just do."

Signs around the ballpark warn spectators not to lean or sit on the railing. The railing within the stair aisles is also slightly higher all around the ballpark.