Aramark whistleblower says he was fired for doing the right thing
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) - A whistleblower is out of a job after airing dirty secrets, and now he's launching an investigation of his own. Jon Costa cried foul over major food violations committed by Aramark at Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums last November.
Costa had been on paid administrative leave and said all he did was the right thing, and now has a warning for families.
"Be vigilant in how people are handling your food," Costa told FOX 4's Megan Brilley.
Costa hopes families visiting Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums this spring and fall will take note. He started working for Aramark two years ago, and says he started to notice grotesque practices. Costa took pictures of moldy food, bugs and mouse droppings inside food prep areas right after the World Series concluded.
"I saw families eating those dollar hot dogs and it was a major concern," he said.
Costa says he went to management, even the owner of Aramark, but says they never batted an eye.
"My concern is protecting the public's health and I gave Aramark all the opportunity to protect the public's health in ways I felt were fit. I got resistance and push back," he said.
Costa says he had no choice but to make his findings public. The city health department later inspected both stadiums and found violations in 20 of the 26 food stands. Costa was put on administrative leave for four months, and recently he got official word mailed to his home that he was fired.
"Aramark did not fire the problem, Aramark fired the employee that was reporting the problems they failed to fix," Costa said.
FOX 4 reached out to Aramark. In a statement, it said it couldn't discuss personnel matters, but that food safety is a top priority. Costa says it was his top priority as well, and doesn't understand why he has lost his job for trying to uphold it.
"I didn't do that for myself. I didn't do that for self-interest. I didn't do it for attention. I did it to protect public health. It's what I've known my whole career to do," he said.
In November, Aramark told FOX 4 it revisited Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums and reported no violations. Costa and his lawyer have filed an OSHA complaint.
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