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Take Me Out to the Ballgame, But Don’t Order Me the Lobster Club

food hygiene, food handlers, hot dog image

It might be safe to eat.

Mold in the ice machines. A cockroach crawling over the soda dispensers. Fruit flies swirled into the margaritas (at least you won’t be buying your kids those). ESPN reporter Paula Lavigne culled through hundreds of inspection reports for every stadium across the country and found that as unappealing as most classic stadium food is to begin with (hot dogs rolling under heat lamps, cardboard pretzels) the truth is even worse than we imagined, with temperature violations, unwashed hands and mouse droppings at many locations.

With kids even more vulnerable to food-borne illnesses than adults, parents need to be particularly vigilant when it comes to food safety. Many of us view the concession stand with an eye towards coming up with the healthiest (or at least, most innocuous) options, but those “healthy” foods can make you just as sick, or sicker, than the alternatives. Stadium employees are under pressure to serve lots of food fast, and they’re probably more interested in their time card and their paycheck than they are in food safety. At 30 of the stadium homes to MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL teams, more than half of the on-site food vendors were cited for “critical” or “major” health violations in 2009.

At one ballpark, every single food vendor was cited for a violation last year.

With numbers like that, how can you take a kid to the game without trying to smuggle in a picnic in your purse?
Read the yucky rest on Babble.


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