A Steady Diet of the Runs
Summary: A "Team 4" investigation shows some food at Heinz Field has been flagged for violations. Reporter: Paul Van Osdol, WTAE Channel 4 Airtime: 3 minutes, 39 seconds on Jan. 16 Visuals: * A gloved hand pressing down on a stacked Primanti sandwich, smushing it just right for wrapping. * Footage from a Steelers game. Highlights: * When Van Osdol alerts us: "A critical violation, the health department says, is one that could make you sick, very sick," and adds, "health-department inspection reports reveal in the past two years, 48 of the 65 vendors at Heinz Field had some kind of critical violation." * When a male fan in a Hooters T-shirt asserts, "You can't come to a Pittsburgh game without getting the double-cheese nachos." * When Van Osdol warns, "But health-department inspection reports show five vendors at Heinz Field were cited in the past two years for failing to keep their nachos hot enough. And there's more. Much more. Inspectors also cited the Steel City Grill for serving chicken, chipped beef and hot dogs as much as 40 [degrees] below the required temperature. A chicken sandwich was quote, 'raw in the middle.'" * When Allegheny County Health Department Director Bruce Dixon assesses the threat: "[Y]ou get bacterial contamination, and sometimes viral contamination, [and] most of these things affect the gastrointestinal tract. You either get nausea or vomiting, or occasionally you get diarrhea." * When Van Osdol reports, "At the Goal Line Stand last September, inspectors found extensive mouse droppings. And a box-cutter with old food debris used to cut open bags of cheese." And the cruelest cut of all: "Pittsburgh's signature sandwich franchise, Primanti Brothers, also was cited for violations at its Heinz Field operation. Last September, inspectors found cheese sticks more than 30 degrees colder than required. They also found food debris on a can-opener and floor grates that were full of debris. Primanti officials declined to comment." * When Van Osdol notes that "Most vendors corrected citations immediately," but adds, "Aramark, the company that manages all food vendors at Heinz Field, declined to do an on-camera interview." * When Van Osdol wraps, "Dr. Dixon says to his knowledge there have been no outbreaks of food-borne illness at Heinz Field. The good news is most food does not sit out too long, especially during halftime." What We Learned: That restaurants only seem to have food violations when THE RATINGS PERIOD IS NIGH! Unanswered Question: It's the third quarter, the Steelers are winning, and you're drunk -- do you care if your nachos are cold? News Value: 1. If this is a warm-up for February sweeps, it's the wrong temperature. Steelers fans have stomachs of iron.