Wonder How Clean Those Stadium Kitchens Are?

Writers for ESPN reviewed the Public Health Department inspections of 107 major league stadiums within the United States. Their review underscores the deplorable state of filthiness that puts sports enthusiasts at risk for food borne illness.

  • In 8 of the stadiums over 75% of the vendors had major “league” violations including mice droppings on the floors, insects blended into frozen drinks, outdated food, dirty counters, poorly cooked food or food not held at the right temperature.
  • In 22 of the stadiums over 50% of the vendors had critical violations including some of the above and soiled ice bins, handling raw foods then ready to eat foods without using gloves or washing hands, raw meat stored above bread products, live cockroaches and fruit flies, poisonous materials stored above foods or employee half eaten food stored with other foods.
  • In 23 of the stadiums over 25% of the vendors had critical violations including some of the above and no sneeze guards on buffet lines, no hand washing sinks for employees, expired milk, hot dogs and cheese, mold in ice machines or inadequate cleaning of meat slicer.
  • Most of the stadiums had some violations including the above and no chlorine sanitizer in dishwashing machine, putting utensils away without cleaning them, toxic chemical in unlabeled spray bottle and handling lemons and limes without gloves.
  • Only 11 stadiums were without critical violations. You might want to look at that report to find out where you can eat safely

My hat is off to Paula Lavigne, the ESPN reporter who compiled the report.

Clearly there is a tremendous need for food safety education for stadium food handlers.


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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