ESPN Report Finds Health Violations at Valley Sports Stadiums

A recent article produced by ESPN has opened some eyes, and may leave some people hunched over a trash can.


The article focuses on stadium food and health inspections in all 107 stadiums sanctioned by the governing bodies of the four major professional sports (the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League).

The results are, ug, gut-wrenching. Of the four major Valley sports teams, none was found to have less than 28 percent of its stadium vendors in violation of health standards.

Check out the details after the jump.

The, well, winners in Phoenix are the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals, both of whom had 28 percent of their vendors committing a major or critical violation while they were being inspected.

According to ESPN's report, when inspectors visited the TGI Friday's restaurant in Chase Field, they issued two critical violations for improper employee hand-washing and not requiring employees to report illnesses.

As for the Cards, inspectors asked a vendor to throw away seven hamburgers held below the required 130-degree temperature for hot, ready-to-serve food (as stated in the report).

While some people may like their meat a little rare, severely undercooked food can lead to serious illness and possibly death. Cardinals' fans should make sure their hamburgers aren't still frozen in the middle this fall or they could end up missing Matt Leinart's anticipated, weekly three-interception performances.

The second worst team on the list was the Phoenix Coyotes who had one-third (33 percent) of their vendors committing major or critical health violations.

In ESPN's report, an inspector spotted an employee scooping ice with his bare hands instead of using a scooper.

Who needs that damn scooper, anyway? Well the Yotes might want to tell employees to start using it. Consider the following story from ESPN's report:

A 15-year-old boy in Phoenix died in 2002 after playing in a golf tournament at which he and several other young golfers got sick.The ice had been contaminated with Norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness that officials believe was most likely transmitted by a sick employee who didn't wash his hands before handling the ice.

And then there was the Phoenix Suns, who had violations with among 38 percent of their vendors.

From the report, one location faced possible closure over pest problems after inspectors in December found mouse droppings and, upon reinspection, found "dozens of flies and a live roach" in the dish room.

Yummy! Nothing goes better with a beer and hot dog than some flies on the side.

While all of these violations are serious, Valley sports fans should be glad they don't live in the state of Florida.

Of the eight stadiums in the Sunshine State, seven had violations of 75 percent, or more, including that of the Tampa Bay Rays, who had violations with single one of their vendors. The report can be found here.