How Clean Are Our Stadiums?

ESPN, the sports entertainment outlet more known these days for publicity stunts, recently released a study on the cleanliness (or lack of) at various sports venues throughout the country. Not surprising, the study came back with many findings that food venues in our stadiums are filled with one health violation after another. While this won’t cause myself to make a personal change when I go to my next sporting event, I will likely be doing some extra scanning when I step up to the counter.

Before I discuss the Detroit findings, a quick story of an interesting food experience I had at a sports venue. I was at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse on opening day and I decided to order the chicken finger basket from the food stand. They said it would take a minute or two and my food would be ready. Upon completion, I grabbed some ketchup and headed to my seat, where I took a massive bite into the tender in my hand. To my surprise, the hot outside was a drastic contrast to the completely raw/half-frozen inside. I was able to get my money back, but I remained in shock that they would actually serve something like that to the public.

Detroit’s stadiums did not fare well at all with The Palace being the “big winner” in the findings. Here are the results by stadium and the quick lowlights from the study:

The Palace of Auburn Hills (39% vendors in violation): Inspectors found food debris on a countertop slicer, which was a repeat critical violation for this stand.

Comerica Park (51%): One pizza vendor incurred 12 critical violations, mostly for improper food temperatures and for not preventing possible contamination.

Joe Louis Arena (52%): Poisonous or toxic materials were stored atop items used to serve customers, posing a potential risk of contamination. Inspectors also found roaches below a soda dispenser at one location.

Ford Field (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.

One reply on “How Clean Are Our Stadiums?

  • Steve Thomas

    Last season, I attended two Tigers games: one in a luxury suite and one in the stands. I had food poisoning both times.

    I hope our local venues utilize the valuable information provided by the reports. It is in their self-interest to do so.

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