Normally, you can't take in a ball (or puck) game without taking in some of the best foods the stadium has to offer. Well, ESPN's most recent Outside The Lines special has health department inspection reports that might make you want to cook yourself a meal before heading out to the game -- the results are not very appetizing.â†µ
Overall, 70 percent of vendors at Ford Field were cited for at least one health violation in their most recent routine or full inspection, according to an extensive "Outside the Lines" investigation of 107 professional sports stadiums around the nation. Things weren't much better at other Detroit-area stadiums, where inspectors found warm fish, toxic materials and an employee scooping ice with his hands:â†µ
Joe Louis Arena: 52 percent of vendors in violation: "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."â†µ
Comerica Park: 51 percent of vendors in violation: "When inspectors measured the temperature of some cod at a high-end stadium club, it was 68 degrees -- more than 25 degrees warmer than required; inspectors demanded it be discarded."â†µ
The Palace of Auburn Hills: 31 percent of vendors in violation: "Inspectors spotted an employee scooping ice with his bare hands instead of using scoops."â†µ
While those certainly look like stomach grumbling statistics, surprisingly Detroit venues did not rank amongst the worst. Warm fish, ill-advised stocking locations, and scooping ice with bare hands (assuming the hands were recently spritzed with some sanitizer) isn't nearly half as bad as some of the other puke-inducing violations at other states' venues -- overlooking insects in beverages and a puss-filled band-aid found in food are two of the more egregious infractions elsewhere.â†µ
Either way, this little Michael Moore-ish special will undoubtedly cause stadium patrons to be extra wary before biting into a ballpark frank or blindly dipping a nacho in cheese. For some, it might end the stadium eating experiences altogether.