Who can resist a hotdog, bag of popcorn, or another junk food delicacy at a baseball game or other sporting event? Despite the high prices, long lines, and bad quality of stadium foods, most people will still shell out the money to purchase concessions at a game. However, you might think twice before hitting the concessions line the next time you attend a game after you read the health inspection reports of several stadiums across the country.
The ESPN network recently compiled the health inspection reports of concession stands from every major professional sports venue in North America, including the MLB, NHL, NBA, and NFL. According to the reports, health inspectors discovered a horrific array of violations including animal droppings, bacterial growth, and toxic materials inside the food, just to name a few of the issues that the report outlines. Overall, more than half of the vendors were cited for violations at one-third of the venues. Some of the particularly gruesome “critical” violations that the health inspectors discovered included:
- Verizon Center (Washington D.C.) — Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors.
- Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati) — Inspectors saw an employee scraping food debris from a spatula using the trash bin and then trying to continue using the same spatula without cleaning it.
- St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa) — At one location with five critical violations, an inspector saw an employee handle dirty dishes and then put away clean dishes without washing his/her hands or changing gloves. The same location lacked soap at a hand sink.
- Staples Center (Los Angeles) — One stand dumped 9.5 pounds of sushi after inspectors found that it had become too warm.
Obviously, if you’re ordering sushi from a concession stand at a stadium, you’re asking to get sick. But beyond that, I don’t think I’ll be ordering another hot dog the next time I’m at a professional sports game, either. Check out ESPN.com and visit the interactive map to check out the vendor health inspection reports at the professional sports stadiums in your state.