Are hot foods served at America’s beloved baseball stadiums safe to eat? Sports Illustrated gathered data from 28 local public inspection records (the most recent available) throughout the U.S. and Canada for Major League Baseball venues. Some of the findings are as follows:
Top 3 Venues According to Safety Records:
- Safeco Field (Seattle, WA) - “Stellar condition” with just 5 total violations, 1 of them critical. A historical look at Safeco’s records show consistently acceptable food safety practices.
- Fenway Park (Boston, MA) - 30 total violations, 2 of them critical. The stadium was cited for a dirty ice machine and a broken dishwasher. However, Fenway’s most recent health inspection was performed at a time when inspected stands were not actively serving food to the public.
- Minute Maid Park (Houston, TX) - 28 total violations, 9 of them critical. In Houston, most of the negative marks were due to “structural deficiencies” found in the stadium itself. Also, one concession stand was reusing popcorn buckets.
Bottom 3 Venues According to Safety Records:
- Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, FL) - 241 total violations, 105 of them critical. The home of the Tampa Bay Rays was cited for a plethora of food safety hazards--live insects, ice bins with black mold growth, and employees not washing hands in between handling food and cash.
- Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland, CA) - 131 total violations, 63 of them critical. Health inspectors found vermin, food kept at unsafe temperatures and handwashing facilities in ill repair.
- Oriole Park (Baltimore, MD) - 264 total violations, 15 of them critical. However, since inspectors looked at Oriole Park before baseball season began, violations were not related to any food items since they were not being served at the time. Issues were related to poor access to hot water for handwashing, and rodent infestations at multiple concession stands. Other food areas had expired licenses for selling food.
Public health records requests for some stadiums (Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH and Comerica Park in Detroit, MI) were not granted.
See Sports Illustrated's full report on how they tallied their data, along with their definitions for terms such as "critical" health violations.
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