Look out what you eat at the stadiums, ballparks and arenas! According to the ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” (OTL) report that inspected the food and beverage outlets in 107 North American arenas and stadiums, which were the homes for MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL teams in 2009, more than half the concessions stands or restaurants at 30 venues were cited for more than one critical or major health violation. This is an infringement that increases the risk for foodborne illnesses and in extreme cases become fatal. Fans should be careful what they’re eating and drinking out of that stadium drink holder.
The percentage of vendors at New Jersey and New York stadiums violating the health requirements varied widely in 2009. Violations were cited from 6% of vendors at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, but nearly 61% of vendors at Madison Square Garden. Inspectors found lack of proper sanitization in many areas, food contamination with mouse excreta or others, lack of heat maintenance in the case of foods like hot dogs, grilled chicken, etc, partially grilled beef burgers with unsafe temperatures, and many other violations.
The other arenas that were found to have such negative types of food and beverage vendors include Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, old Giants Stadium, and Izod Center in East Rutherford, N. J. The health reports from various venues from different states differed greatly in the OTL report. Owing to these violations, there is an increased risk for the occurrence of foodborne illnesses at ballparks. One of the vendors explains that the pressure to feed his clients faster has been the reason for his colleagues to sacrifice sanitary standards and serve food in a timely fashion.
Though there are no reports or documents that support the outbreak of foodborne illnesses at a professional sports stadium, OTL report states that several individuals claim to have developed an ailment after consuming the ballpark food, but let’s say it couldn’t be drawn to a conclusion that it came from the food in their cup holder.