Monday, July 26, 2010

Before you eat those stadium nachos…


When Franke Selke took over the Montreal Canadiens, one of the first things he complained about was the smell  coming out of the Montreal Forum. “Clean the toilets! Nettoyez les toilettes!” were the words he muttered, as cited in the book “Lions in Winter.” It was done.

One has to wonder what the Hall of Fame builder would think in present day, after reading what the story published by ESPN on Monday. Thanks to my friend Mike McLaren for bringing this to our attention.

If you are about to eat, you may want to wait until after or just read this before you eat that next hot dog at our favorite sports arena.


The ESPN story outlines recent health inspection reports at stadiums/arenas in 2009 for the four major leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL).

For the health and germ conscious, you will really want to think twice as you dip your nacho into that cheese, while sitting down to cheer on your favorite team.

Best scores: All of Ontario based venues came with an impressive 0% rating, including the Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre and Scotiabank Place. In Chicago, only Soldier field had any violations and were cited due to a lack of hot water.

Worst: Best to bring your own food to any Florida sporting event. Ditto for the Verizon Center in D.C.

The full article can be found here, but I’ve outline the NHL venues below. Arena
Phoenix Coyotes
Vendors with critical violations: 33%
Inspection report excerpt: Inspectors spotted an employee scooping ice with his bare hands instead of using scoops.

Honda Center
Anaheim Ducks
Vendors with critical violations: 3%

Inspection report excerpt: The only major violation was for not having chlorine sanitizer in the kitchen's dishwashing machine.

HP Pavilion at San Jose
San Jose Sharks
Vendors with critical violations: 20%

Inspection report excerpt: At one location, inspectors found Chinese chicken salad had warmed to 60 degrees, about 20 degrees above a safe temperature.

Staples Center
Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings
Vendors with critical violations: 11%

Inspection report excerpt: One stand dumped 9.5 pounds of sushi after inspectors found that it become too warm.

Air Canada Centre
Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vendors with critical violations: 0%

Inspection report excerpt: No critical or major violations.

Bell Centre
Montreal Canadiens
Vendors with critical violations: 3%

Inspection report excerpt: Food found at an improper temperature.

General Motors Place
Vancouver Canucks
Vendors with critical violations: 9%

Inspection report excerpt: A sushi display cooler was malfunctioning, and the temperature of the sushi rose above safe levels. Inspectors also cautioned one stand regarding properly heating donairs, which have been tied to E. coli outbreaks elsewhere in Canada.

Pengrowth Saddledome
Calgary Flames
Vendors with critical violations: 14%

Inspection report excerpt: Utensils and equipment at one location were not being cleaned and sanitized properly.

Rexall Place
Edmonton Oilers
Vendors with critical violations: 25%

Inspection report excerpt: At one location, workers used contaminated cleaning items.

Scotiabank Place
Ottawa Senators
Vendors with critical violations: 0%

Inspection report excerpt: No critical or major violations.

Pepsi Center
Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche
Vendors with critical violations: 67%

Inspection report excerpt: At one bar, inspectors found phorid flies, sometimes called coffin flies, in a bottle of cognac.

BankAtlantic Center
Florida Panthers
Vendors with critical violations: 67%

Inspection report excerpt: Inspectors issued several violations for soiled ice bins and coolers.

St. Pete Times Forum
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vendors with critical violations: 88%

Inspection report excerpt: At one location with five critical violations, an inspector saw an employee handle dirty dishes and then put away clean dishes without washing his/her hands or changing gloves. The same location lacked soap at a hand sink.

Philips Arena
Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers
Vendors with critical violations: 35%

Inspection report excerpt: At a couple of locations, inspectors found food not being protected from contamination.

United Center
Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks
Vendors with critical violations: 0%

Inspection report excerpt: No critical or major violations. Chicago health inspectors inspect vendors while the stadiums are empty, when no workers are preparing or serving food.

TD Garden
Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins
Vendors with critical violations: 21%

Inspection report excerpt: Storing dishwashing chemicals on top of an ice machine resulted in a critical violation for one location.

Joe Louis Arena
Detroit Red Wings
Vendors with critical violations: 52%

Inspection report excerpt: 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.

Xcel Energy Center
Minnesota Wild
Vendors with critical violations: 17%

Inspection report excerpt: Chicken strips for topping a Caesar salad were found at 105 degrees, when they should have been at least 140 degrees.

Scottrade Center
St. Louis Blues
Vendors with critical violations: 0%

Inspection report excerpt: No critical or major violations.

Prudential Center
New Jersey Devils
Vendors with critical violations: 6%

Inspection report excerpt: Inspectors noted that at one location, the person in charge "did not demonstrate adequate knowledge of food safety," and the sink lacked soap and paper towels, and there was no sanitizer solution.

HSBC Arena
Buffalo Sabres
Vendors with critical violations: 8%

Inspection report excerpt: Two critical violations for having a toxic chemical in an unlabeled spray bottle.

Madison Square Garden
New York Knicks, New York Rangers
Vendors with critical violations: 61%

Inspection report excerpt: At one stand, inspectors found "53 mouse excreta" (38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit).

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
New York Islanders
Vendors with critical violations: 0%

Inspection report excerpt: No critical or major violations.

RBC Center
Carolina Hurricanes
Vendors with critical violations: 67%

Inspection report excerpt: Inspectors cited one vendor after watching employees handle raw, breaded chicken while loading fryers and then handling cooked food without changing gloves or washing hands. The employees placed cooked chicken back in the same container used to pre-portion raw chicken before cooking.

Nationwide Arena
Columbus Blue Jackets
Vendors with critical violations: 9%

Inspection report excerpt: One of the stadium's critical violations was for employees' handling lemons, limes and oranges with their bare hands while placing them on beverage glasses.

Mellon Arena
Pittsburgh Penguins
Vendors with critical violations: 55%

Inspection report excerpt: In one of the arena's higher-end clubs, inspectors found a live cockroach on top of a soda dispenser holster behind the bar.

Wachovia Center
Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers
Vendors with critical violations: 15%

Inspection report excerpt: Inspectors found evidence of mouse and fruit fly infestations at one bar location.

Bridgestone Arena
Nashville Predators
Vendors with critical violations: 59%

Inspection report excerpt: Nashville inspectors, who also score vendors, gave the facility's lowest score -- 75 -- to a vendor with three critical and nine non-critical violations.

American Airlines Center
Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars
Vendors with critical violations: 40%

Inspection report excerpt: Expired milk, brown lettuce and employees caught drinking or eating while they were working in the stand accounted for some of the stadium's critical violations.

Verizon Center
Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals
Vendors with critical violations: 100%

Inspection report excerpt: Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors.

Hungry now?

It should be interesting to hear a rebuttal from the four major leagues. Typically they will come up with some criticism of the report as over exaggerated. But when 12 of the NHL’s 30 venues have ratings of 33% or more, it will certainly make people think.


No comments: