A rumbling gut is probably enough to inform you that stadium concessions stands can really mess you up, but now you can check your gastrointestinal intuition against an ESPN survey of health violations at pro football, basketball, baseball, and hockey venues.
Outside the Lines reviewed over 16,000 routine inspection reports at venues in 2016 and 2017 and took note of all high-level violations at their food outlets. These violations include but are not limited to: food stored at unsafe temperatures, employee-related issues, vermin, poor condition of food, and equipment failure. Here’s a more colorful breakdown, from the report:
The violations run the gamut: chicken, shrimp and sushi festering at dangerous temperatures that can breed bacteria; employees wiping their faces with their hands and then handling food for customers; cooks sweating over food; beef blood dripping on a shelf; moldy or expired food; dirty utensils or contaminated equipment; and the presence of live cockroaches and mice. Less serious but still icky: dirty floors, fruit flies, pesky pigeons and, in one venue, beer leaking from a ceiling.
The report compiled a list of 107 venues (some of which are now closed) where would-be eaters can read some of the specific violations and see how each venue looks when compared to food outlets in the surrounding area. The list is sorted in terms of percentage of the venue’s food outlets that recorded at least one high-level violation in the two-year sample. Looked at that way, North Carolina-based teams fared abominably. The Spectrum Center, home to the Charlotte Hornets, came in last place of all venues in the survey, with 23 high-level food violations observed at its 25 food outlets. Raleigh’s PNC Arena, home of the Hurricanes, was the highest of the three ... at No. 93. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium was 103rd, last among all NFL venues, with 57 high-level violations at its 69 outlets. Most appetizing is this one:
On Sept. 14, 2016, inspectors found raw beef loin on a shelf over ready-to-eat foods in a walk-in cooler in the main kitchen. Inspectors wrote that blood was getting on shelves and presenting a drip hazard, and they observed trays of food in the walk-in cooler with no cover.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors’ Oracle Arena in Oakland had just one high-level violation across 89 food outlets—of fucking course. Just be happy for those deviant Soylent chuggers and their lack of beef drip.