That Ballpark Hot Dog Could Kill You

ESPN gives more info than you wanted on stadium food safety
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2010 2:15 PM CDT
That Ballpark Hot Dog Could Kill You
Mike Browning of St. Clair, Mich., enjoys a hot dog at Comerica Park during a Tigers game against the Cleveland Indians, June 8, 2008, in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

If you’d like to enjoy the next hot dog you eat at a baseball game, don’t read on. ESPN reviewed health department inspection reports for the North American MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA venues and found that 28% had been cited for a “critical” or “major” violation—one that could cause sickness or even death. Some disgusting highlights? Mold in ice machines, cockroaches, workers refusing to wash hands, and toxic chemicals stored near food prep areas.

Clearly, “consumers should be very concerned about some of the food that they are eating and purchasing in a lot of these stadiums,” says one food lobbyist, but some industry reps argue that reports exaggerate the risk. One former food worker at Tropicana Field says the need for speed is to blame: “Sometimes you sacrifice the cleanliness for expediting the service.” ESPN has an interactive map if you want to see how scary your home park is.
(More stadium stories.)

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