Hockey and food safety? Sure they’re the same, keep elbows up when you go in the corners

This isn’t about food safety. It’s about coaching, mentoring, whatever words you like that are often thrown around in the food safety world but often not practiced (follow the money).

No money involved here, just me and fellow coach Kyle spending four Sundays trying to teach a bunch of surfer kids in 90 F heat how to play hockey.

And it was a family affair. Sorenne and Amy both helped out with the various tasks to get people on the ice, as did Kyle’s kids.

The regular season begins next weekend, and I’m anxious to get back on the ice as a goalie (if my body can handle it) and coaching.

But this was fun. Thanks to all who volunteered their time. And especially my family who tolerate my Canadian indulgences in Australia.


‘Total lack of knowledge’ In poor taste in Phoenix

Parenting and preparing food are about the only two activities that do not require some kind of certification in Western countries. To coach little girls playing ice hockey in Canada requires 16 hours of training. To coach kids on a travel team requires an additional 24 hours of training. Anyone who serves, prepares or handles food, in a restaurant, nursing home, day care center, supermarket or local market should have some basic food safety training.

court.hockeyNot the case in Phoenix, where Judy Hedding of Travel writes, I don’t recall ever seeing such extensive comments by an inspector about the total lack of knowledge of food operations as I read in the report of our worst offender for last week. Eat sushi there? I don’t think so. Eat anything there? I think not. I have to wonder why there is not such score as F.

The following list represents those restaurants (not schools, caterers, corporate cafeterias, bakeries or other food processing businesses) that had three or more Priority Violations — those that are considered a serious risk for foodborne illness — during their last inspection. Three or more Priority Violations means that the grade for that inspection is a D (there are no F grades). The worst are at the top of the list. A restaurant that had that many Priority Violations noted would be one that I’d avoid, at least until they had subsequent inspections showing more understanding of safe food preparation standards and concern for their patrons. I also include establishments where their license was immediately suspended by the inspector.

Typically, this involves an equipment failure that can’t be corrected immediately. Examples might be refrigeration units that don’t cool enough, plumbing problems, or availability of clean water. Their license might be reinstated, even later that same day, if they correct the problems noted. Restaurants reported here are located in communities all over Maricopa County. That means not only Phoenix, but also Scottsdale; the cities and towns in the West Valley like Glendale, Peoria, Surprise; the cities and towns in the East Valley like Tempe, Chandler and Mesa; as well as other county locations. County inspectors may or may not inspect restaurants in every part of the county every week.

After you peruse the worst, please take a look at the many Phoenix area restaurants that achieved the best inspections during the week ending January 18, 2015. Those are arranged by zip code, for your convenience. They deserve our support and our business. Restaurants With the Worst Health Department Inspection Results For Week Ending January 18, 2015

Business Name Address City Zip Code Priority Violation
Schlotzsky’s 4445 E Thomas Rd Phoenix 85018 Immediate Suspension
Eastwind Restaurant 13637 N Tatum Blvd Phoenix 85032 9
La 15 Y Salsas Restaurant 1507 W Hatcher Rd Phoenix 85021 6
Dobson Ranch Bar & Grill 1644 S Dobson Rd Mesa 85202 6
Nanay’s 2390 N Alma School Rd Chandler 85224 6
Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy 16092 Arrowhead Ftns Ctr Dr Peoria 85381 4
Rosa’s Mexican Grill 328 E University Dr Mesa 85201 4
Cristal Bakery & Mexican Food 6402 W Glendale Ave Glendale 85303 4
Thai Spices 66 S Dobson Rd Mesa 85202 4
Sonic Drive In Mesa 618 W Southern Ave Mesa 85210 3
Flancer’s Cafe 610 N Gilbert Rd Gilbert 85223 3
Tropical Smoothie Cafe 13375 W Mcdowell Rd Goodyear 85338 3
Waffle House 1801 W Baseline Rd Guadalupe 85283 3
Culver’s 630 E Southern Ave Tempe 85282 3

braun.hockeyYou can see the inspection history of any place that serves or handles food at the Maricopa County website. If you are interested in Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Superior, Florence, Maricopa or Casa Grande, you can find restaurant reports for Pinal County, too. Restaurant information provided by the Maricopa County Environmental Health Services Division, used with permission. The image on this page is generic, and not associated with any of the restaurants mentioned here.    

Would you play hockey in Brisbane? Steal sticks?

With daytime highs of 100F and nighttime lows of 79F, what better time to head back to the rink next week in Brisbane.

2004HockeyTournanment 053For years, Amy and I have talked about building our own rink, with a restaurant where we could do food safety studies – because Manhattan, Kansas had nothing. Brisbane has a couple of rinks, but they favor public skating and figure skating; gotta pay the bills (that’s me and Chapman, 11 years ago).

So a bunch of us are seriously looking into the prospects of building our own arena and restaurant, where hockey (that’s ice hockey) would rule. Anyone with advice – or more importantly money – please e-mail directly. This will take awhile, but we are serious.

braunwynn.hockeyAnd we care about stories like this: The Ottawa Sun reports that Gatineau cops are chasing a pair of bandits currently on a breakaway with a slew of hockey sticks. Around 10 p.m. on Jan. 12, two men broke into Marc Sport Source for Sports at 455 Maloney Blvd. East and stole $28,000 worth of adult hockey sticks. Police believe the thieves will likely try to resell the sticks, so if someone on your beer league hockey team has suddenly found his scoring touch, it could be that his stick really is hot.

But girls can’t play (ice) hockey: Saudi Arabia municipality refuses to compromise on food safety

A number of restaurant owners whose businesses have been shut down recently by Jeddah’s municipality, have defied the decision by opening their doors again. Several owners also tried to attack inspectors, requiring the intervention of police to help close down their businesses. Al-Buqami, Jeddah municipality’s spokesman, confirmed the events, noting that the decision to shut down the restaurants is only temporary. He said some of the establishments that opened without approval from the municipality, have been shut down again, and received a fine for violating the municipality’s ruling.

Al-Buqami also addressed the recent complaints made by these restaurant owners to the Makkah governorate, calling the municipality’s decree, an injustice.

It must be serious: Flu outbreak cancels Minn State-Princeton hockey game

As mumps makes its way through the dressing rooms of the National Hockey League, Minnesota State was forced to cancel its game Saturday against Princeton because of a flu-like outbreak. Hastings said the first news he received about a member of the Minnesota State men’s hockey team being sick came about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

It snowballed from there.

“I’ve never seen anything go like that — that fast,” the Mavericks’ coach said. “At this point (around 2 p.m.) we’re sick and getting sicker. We couldn’t have put a team on the ice.”

A flu-like outbreak that affected about half of Minnesota State’s roster, caused the cancellation of Saturday’s game between the third-ranked Mavericks and nonconference opponent Princeton.

No players were hospitalized, Hastings said.

Flu-like illnesses have increased across the region, according to Kevin Burns, director of public affairs for Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.

Pat Quinn, ‘one of hockey’s most respected individuals,’ has died

Whenever I travel, people ask me what I do, and it inevitably evolves into discussions about food safety and hockey.

patquinnThe topics aren’t necessarily connected, other than commitment.

I’m thankful for my parents who spent endless hours at the ice rink so I could play, and I’m thankful for all the food safety types who let me play as well.

Pat Quinn, a Hamilton (that’s in Canada) boy, passed away yesterday and was widely praised as a respected hockey dude.

That’s about the best most of us can hope for, whatever our profession.

Quinn, a two-time Jack Adams winner for coach of the year, led both Philadelphia (1980) and Vancouver (1994) to the Stanley Cup Finals as a bench boss and was highly decorated internationally, winning gold medals at the U-18, World Junior, World Cup and — most famously — the Olympic level, guiding Canada to victory in 2002 at Salt Lake.

Quinn also served as the chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Here’s the statement from Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden, who played for Quinn in Vancouver:

“We have lost a great man. It’s a sad day for hockey and for everyone who loves our game. On this difficult day I am thinking about Pat, his family and his friends, and how much he will be missed.“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for Pat. He was a great leader and always a teacher. He taught me how to be a professional on and off the ice. He taught me how to play hockey the right way, how to win, and about the importance of respect and loyalty.

“Pat’s impact on our city has been immeasurable. He was responsible for bringing hockey to the forefront in Vancouver. He brought the pride back to the Canucks and today his finger prints and impact are still felt within this organization.”

It’s what I’ve tried to instill in my five daughters. and food safety types around the world.

Scary? Barfing pumpkins, hockey goalie masks and Aust tax deadlines

For whatever reason,  the Australian fiscal year goes from July 1 — June 30, with taxes required to be filed by Oct. 31.

goalie.maskSo while North Americans were contemplating costumes, I spent the day finishing my taxes.

That’s scary.

So is this drunk pumpkin, and this 1959 goalie mask, the first one ever used in a professional (ice) hockey game by Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadians. I got one from Canadian Tire in 1968 and it hurt like hell every time I got hit in the head.

pumpkin.pukeI relate these tales to the young goalies I now coach. They think I’m old, weird and scary.







Squirts Stars, thermometers and gender stuff

In Canada we call the little kids that play hockey, Novices.

sorenne.coffs.horbor.14In Brisbane they call them Squirts.

Novice is better.

Whatever they’re called, mucho kudos to the Brisbane  Southern Stars Squirts (5-9-years-old) on winning all six games at the 4th Annual 3-on-3 tournament at Coff’s Harbour, NSW, during the school holidays (Oct. 4-6, 2014)

I was out a couple of games, but Sheldon (another Canadian) ably stepped up (and his wife helped me), and his daughter Noelle, who may actually be younger than Sorenne, rocked it. I spoke with the kids afterwards to address any concerns and they seemed cool.

We may have gotten outshot every game, but superstar goalie Ronan Hoy registered two shutouts and pulled us though every other game. Each team member was awarded a gold medal, and coach Doug Powell’s medal is already proudly hanging downstairs with old-timey hockey paraphernalia.

Cole Hardiman was a scoring machine while brother Liam was no slouch (thanks for your help, parents Susan and Brad), while Onrii and Didier Dalgity chipped in as well. John Kelly, Alex Wentz Luke McNamara, and Ethan Poole all knew their role and to watch little kids change on the fly, pay attention to offside, and spread out and pass the puck was gratifying when we haven’t really practiced it.

sorenne.stick.hit.oct.14I apologize if I missed anyone, just like when I wake up in the morning and apologize to my wife for anything that may happen, and apologize when I go to bed for anything that did.

And of course we don’t teach little girls to hit other players in the back of the calves where there is no padding; that would be unsportspersonlike.

I didn’t go to the BBQ but Amy did and took a tip sensitive digital thermometer. A coupe of the dads said “Really?”

It’s food safety 1978 here, and more about that next week.

Thanks to all the parents for their time and helping to build the sport.

In a related but sorta unrelated story, my friend Elizabeth Weise, one of the few remaining reporters at the The USA Today, sent out a note asking now that “Apple and Facebook include egg freezing as a benefit. I’m curious what working mothers might think of this. One woman I know said it made her feel as if these companies were in effect saying to employees that they should have kids later on, on their own time. She worried anyone who actually had kids would be seen as a slacker who wasn’t committed to the job. Any thoughts? I’d love to quote some real mothers in the story.”

Also, “Anyone have thoughts they’d like to share with USA Today on Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s comment yesterday that women in tech don’t need to ask for raises, they should just trust the system to do well by them.

braun.sorenne.hockeyI can put you in touch with Beth.

How about another gender story? Most people know this– it’s a not a secret.

My comment to Beth was that as a father of five hockey-playing daughters – he’s a jackass.

We’ll work more on positioning for the rest of the season, as well as the basics.

Also, the girls-only session last week was a success. When we started the Guelph girls hockey league in about 1996, (that’s in Ontario, in Canada, a town of about 120,000), the girls came out of the woodwork and now is a vibrant league with house league, various rep teams, and probably some 1,000 girls playing.


Dr. Douglas Powell