WTAE-TV News, which always receives extra credit for employing Bob Mayo, didn't need it this morning, when it reported that the food safety practices at PNC Park are as substandard as the home team's performance on the field. According to health department inspection reports, the inventory in PNC kitchens shares space with mold, mouse droppings, mishandled raw poultry and insects -- at unsafe temperatures -- before becoming the fans' overpriced concession items. Forty-one (of forty-three) PNC Park kitchens were cited for at least one "critical violation" recently, WTAE reported. Mold in ice machines was a frequent violation.
Silver lining: The inspectors have demonstrated integrity by documenting these problems. There is no observable limit to the obsequiousness of their bosses -- local elected officials -- toward the owners of the Pirates and Steelers, and the principal concessionaire at PNC Park (Aramark) also works at Heinz Field, so the inspectors must have known accurate reports could displease the powers that be. These public servants deserve thanks.
I recommend eating at a restaurant before the game. That supports businesses whose taxes are paying for the ballparks, and appears to increase the likelihood that the home team's play will be the only thing that makes you retch during a family outing at the ballyard.
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