The comma matters when it comes to new food, safety measures

I got all excited when two of my worlds collided yesterday.

Sort of.

As I scanned the news headlines I saw ‘Rays open at Tropicana Field with new food, safety measures’ from WFLA.

The Toronto Blue Jays, my team, are in Tampa Bay this week opening the season vs. the Rays.0267804001444783076_filepicker

I figured this was a response to a 2010 investigative report by ESPN on stadium food safety (which begat about 40 other stadium food exposes). In November 2014, ESPN’s Outside the Lines ran a story about Jon Costa, an Aramark employee at Kaufmann Stadium who reported frustration with his bosses over not being able to address food safety problems; Costa was later fired.

Except, the article isn’t about food safety at a stadium. It’s about new food. And new safety measures.

As ground crews were hard at work Sunday morning, prepping Tropicana Field for the Rays home opener, cooks were also making some delicious preparations in the kitchen there. This week, the Rays unveiled new food options for fans available this year, including the debut of Pipo’s Café, which serves Cuban sandwiches, empanadas and fried plantains. Also new at the “Trop” this season, new Major League Baseball safety guidelines that were put in place to keep fans safe. Last December, the Commissioner of Baseball recommended clubs to implement or maintain netting that shields from foul balls near both ends of the dugouts and within 70 feet of home plate.

Oh well, at least Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman led Toronto to a win yesterday.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.