Democracy Tree: Aramark employee canned for whistleblowing

Aramark-2-300x188“Aramark did not fire the problem, Aramark fired the employee that was reporting the problems they failed to fix.” — Jon Costa, Aramark whistleblower
Last year, Democracy Tree reported on the disgusting conditions found in the food vendor booths at Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums in Kansas City. Jon Costa, an Aramark food safety manager, threw in the towel having finally had it with his employer constantly thwarting his efforts to clean house at the 26 stands he was charged with inspecting.
So, during game seven of the World Series he covertly snapped pictures which he then shared with ESPN and the Kansas City Health Department, but unlike Aramark, they took swift action. Immediately following the game, health department inspectors captured some shocking photos themselves, documenting that 20 of the stands were in violation of the health code, with 37 critical infractions cited. ESPN kicked-into investigative journalism mode and reported the story.
Now, Aramark has finally taken action — they fired Costa. And he’s firing back, with an OSHA complaint.
Originally, the private food vendor placed the whistleblower on administrative leave and attempted damage control by sending a damning letter to ESPN discrediting him. If it contains Aramark claims against Costa, the corporation likely dug a liability hole as big as Kauffman Stadium.)
Michigan, where Aramark holds the contract for prison food services, has also been in the news recently over disgusting conditions found under their watch.
CBS Detroit reports that last October an Aramark employee at the Saginaw Correctional Facility pulled meatballs out of the garbage to serve to inmates:
Apparently, an Aramark employee had thrown the food away before realizing more inmates still hadn’t been served. The employee, who has since been fired, then retrieved the food “rinsed them off, reheated them in the oven and instructed the inmates to serve them.”
The inmates refused to serve the trash food, so the fired worker and another Aramark employee served the inmates themselves.
Last month, Progress Michigan released e-mails they had obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request regarding an Aramark employee who ordered kitchen workers to serve cake that had been eaten by rats.
It’s not just prisons and stadiums that must watch out for problems with the private food vendor, public schools and universities are a mainstay of their business model. School boards would be well advised to review what’s been going DSCN0444-150x150on in other schools under Aramark before contracting with the vendor.

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