2009 food inspections are in for the stadia, arenas, and parks home to the major sports teams. Having good food is a key factor to having a great sporting facility. Of course, if you get sick from the food, that’s an epic fail. The percent refers to the number of food vendors cited for critical violations by the respective food inspection service. Examples are given.
Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays) — 100% (Several violations addressed dirty countertops, utensils and equipment).
Verizon Center (Washington Wizards & Capitals) — 100% (Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors).
American Airlines Arena (Miami Heat) — 93% (several safety issues related to electrical wiring and such equipment as gas boilers).
Sun Life Stadium (Florida Marlins/Miami Dolphins) — 93% (In June 2009, an employee complained anonymously that small insects and other debris were blended into frozen alcoholic beverages at a stand where equipment wasn’t being cleaned. When inspectors checked, they issued a critical violation for a buildup of slime inside the frozen drinks machine).
St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa Bay Lightning) — 88% (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).
Raymond James Stadium (Tamp Bay Buccaneers) — 84% (Inspectors found chicken tenders not being cooked to the required 165 degrees).
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (Jacksonville Jaguars) — 77% (At least 11 locations cited for holding hot food at temperatures below 135 degrees, causing potential bacterial growth).
Amway Arena (Orlando Magic) — 75% (At a location that sells fish, inspectors found potentially hazardous ready-to-eat food not consumed/sold within a week of opening/preparation).
Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte Bobcats) — 73% (At one location, inspectors found debris under a slicer blade and pulled three pans that needed to be cleaned again).
Cowboys Stadium (Dallas Cowboys) — 72% (n its first season, Cowboys Stadium had a relatively high percentage of critical violations, including several for inadequate hand-washing facilities. At one kiosk, hot dogs were 71 degrees, almost half the required holding temperature of 135 degrees).
Ford Field (Detroit Lions) — 70% (Inspectors cited one location 11 times in the past six years after seeing employees who didn’t wash their hands. At another stand, they found an employee’s half-eaten hamburger in a warming unit).
Bank Atlantic Center (Florida Panthers) — 67% (Inspectors issued several violations for soiled ice bins and coolers).
Pepsi Center (Denver Nugges/Colorado Avalanche) — 67% (At one bar, inspectors found phorid flies, sometimes called coffin flies, in a bottle of cognac).
RBC Center (Carolina Hurricanes) — 67% (Inspectors cited one vendor after watching employees handle raw, breaded chicken while loading fryers and then handling cooked food without changing gloves or washing hands. The employees placed cooked chicken back in the same container used to pre-portion raw chicken before cooking).
Coors Field (Colorado Rockies) — 62% (Inspectors discovered a refrigerator keeping cheese and sour cream at 52 degrees overnight, which is too warm).
LP Field (Tennessee Titans) — 62% (none).
Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers) — 61% (Inspectors found employees lacking in overall food-safety knowledge after observing one worker washing his hands with his gloves on. Another location had a gallon of milk that had expired 10 days prior).
Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium (Denver Broncos) — 61% (At three bars, inspectors found fruit flies in bottles of whiskey).
Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks & Rangers) — 61% (At one stand, inspectors found “53 mouse excreta”; 38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit).
Are there any safe places to take in a game and eat as well?
Soldier Field (Chicago Bears) — 12% (Almost all violations were due to a lack of hot water). —- You mean no hot water in Chicago … in the middle of winter?????
United Center (Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls) — 0%
U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox) — 0%
There are two sidebars to Chicago’s miraculous lack of violations:
1. Chicago food inspectors don’t make inspections during a game … therefore they never see the employees in action (oops!)
2. Low violations may be a good sign, or may be a sign of lower standards. Who knows?