ESPN recently released a comprehensive study of concession food preparation conditions at all major professional sports stadiums and arenas in the United States and Canada. Specifically, it lists and ranks stadiums by the percentage of food or beverage vendors at each location cited for so-called "critical" health code violations.
Florida had the highest number of such violations, and all but one of the worst venues in the country were in the Sunshine State, according to the report.
The study broke all the stadiums into groups according to the number of vendors at each venue cited for major health code violations. Of the eight Florida stadiums examined, seven were in the worst category: where 75 to 100 percent of the food vendors had been cited for severe problems.
From the report:
All [Florida] stadiums scored among the worst when it came to violations cited by inspectors. Inspections are performed by a state agency, and officials say that makes their standards more uniform and stringent.
The only Florida arena not in the worst category was the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, home of the Florida Panthers. At the BAC, 67 percent of the vendors had critical violations, with inspectors issuing citations for soiled bins and coolers.
America Airlines Arena, new home to LeBron James, had 93 percent of its vendors cited for the worst violations, including problems with electrical wiring and gas biolers. Sun Life Stadium (that place where the Dolphins and Marlins play, if you've forgotten already) also had 93 percent of the vendors cited, including this inspection report excerpt:
In June 2009, an employee complained anonymously that small insects and other debris were blended into frozen alcoholic beverages at a stand where equipment wasn't being cleaned. When inspectors checked, they issued a critical violation for a buildup of slime inside the frozen drinks machine.
Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was even worse, with 100 percent of the vendors there cited for critical violations, according to ESPN.