ESPN finds funk with Twin Cities stadium concessions

ESPN finds a lack of happy meals
ESPN finds a lack of happy meals
Photo: marnanel

Take a look at that that soggy half-time hamburger wrapped in foil, sitting under a heat lamp, that you're going to count as your evening meal. Forget the calorie count; is the sorry-ass looking thing even safe? ESPN is out with a nationwide survey of health inspection issues at the pro sports stadiums that offers you a gut check.

Its Outside The Lines unit looked at health department inspection reports for food and beverage outlets at all 107 North American MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL arenas in 2009 and found that at 30 of the venues, "more than half of the concession stands or restaurants had been cited for at least one "critical" or "major" health violation."

In Minnesota:

  • Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome/Vikings vendors with critical violations: 8%
  • Target Center/Timberwolves vendors with critical violations: 39%
  • Xcel Energy Center/Wild vendors with critical violations: 17%

The Twins' Target Field, and its spankin' new fancy-food concessions, didn't make the report because of its rookie status.

Could be worse. Could be Florida:

At Tropicana Field -- home of the Tampa Bay Rays -- every one of the stadium's 47 food and drink outlets inspected incurred a critical violation during inspections within the past year, according to Florida inspection reports. Violations include food residue in a cooler, toxic chemicals stored too close to food preparation areas, "slime" in the ice machines and thermometers not readily visible to measure the temperature of hot foods.


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