Think Twice Before You Eat That Stadium Food

In a report by ESPN of over 100 stadiums in the United States, all but 11 had a stain on their records with critical violations that put the public at risk of food poisoning after eating at a sporting event.

Some of the violations are critical and can cause significant illness.

  • Storing toxic chemicals or uncooked meats stored above foods.
  • Handling ready to eat foods without gloves.
  • Cooking foods to inadequate temperatures.
  • Storing foods at inadequate temperatures.
  • Lacking attention to contaminants in foods.
  • Dirty ice machines.
  • Dirty counter tops.

Why is there such lack of attention to food safety? Is it apathy? Is it lack of supervision? Is it lack of routine enforcement? Is it lack of education?

Whatever the cause, be careful when eating at a stadium. Demand excellence.

Throw away anything that seems risky. And encourage anyone you know who works at a stadium to get food safety certification, even if it isn’t required. offers inexpensive, convenient online food safety courses. The course has a quiz and satisfactory completion leads to certification.


Author: Dr. Harlan Stueven, MD

Harlan Stueven M.D. is a Board-Certified Emergency physician with sub-specialization in Environmental Toxicology and Board Certification in Medical Toxicology. Starting his career in the USAF, he served as a Flight Surgeon and Environmental Health Consultant Physician where one of his duties was monitoring food safety. In his nearly 40-year practice, he treated a range of medical, surgical and poisoning emergencies. He has been a Medical Director and/or Chairman of several hospital-based Emergency Medicine Departments, served as the President of Emergency and Environmental Medicine consulting group, a physician group Chief Financial Officer and sat on many national, state and local committees. Dr. Stueven founded Dining Grades and the Dining Safety Alliance to improve food safety by increasing awareness of food borne illness and the formation of partnerships within the food industry. He is a consultant to the Wisconsin Retail Food Establishment Grading Work Group; a Co-investigator in a CDC funded “Evaluation of Health Department Restaurant Inspection Programs” project. He has presented at several National, State and Regional conferences on restaurant grading and food safety. He is an accomplished leader, medical researcher, a champion of process improvement, author, and national and international speaker.

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