Concessions at Gillette Stadium rank among the best in terms of health and safety, according to a study conducted by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”
In a review of over 16,000 routine food-safety inspection reports from 2016 and 2017, ESPN discovered that at 27 percent of professional sports venues, more than half of the food service outlets incurred a high-level violation. Per ESPN, a high-level violation is “one that poses a potential threat for foodborne illness” and falls into the following six categories: temperature, employee-related issue, pests/bugs, poor condition of food, equipment failure or problem, and other.
Of the 150 outlets inspected at Gillette Stadium, 11 had high-level violations. Its percentage of violations (7.33) was behind only Oakland’s Oracle Arena, Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, Houston’s NRG Stadium, and Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, which closed in July. The infractions reported at Gillette ranged from hot dogs and sausages sitting in a malfunctioning warmer to employees not washing their hands properly.
TD Garden and Fenway Park also ranked in the top quarter of venues. Of the 54 outlets inspected at TD Garden, nine had high-level violations (16.67), while 10 of the 58 outlets inspected at Fenway Park (17.24) did. At least two pest-related issues were reported at the Garden, where inspectors observed mice droppings on top of a pizza oven in one kitchen as well as live birds near food preparation stations of multiple outlets. Inspectors at Fenway Park, on the other hand, noted at least two temperature-related issues, such as the soiled interior of an ice machine.
Of the 111 venues inspected, 37 had a violation rate under 25 percent and seven, including Yankee Stadium, had a violation rate over 75 percent. The worst-ranked venue was Charlotte’s Spectrum Center.