I’m a pretty big sports fan, and for a year after graduating from the University of Georgia I worked as a health inspector for the county health department, which meant that–among other things–I got to go behind the scenes at restaurants and see what really went on. When I tell most people this, they get an alarmed look on their face and say things like “So, do you, like, never go out to eat anymore?!” To which I happily respond, “Oh, no. I go out to eat all the time.”
Restaurants can engage in some pretty sloppy practices, but at least they get inspected at least twice a year. The same isn’t true about the kitchen in your home, and most of us do things that are just as potentially harmful to our health as anything that gets done in a restaurant kitchen. But a new report compiled by the folks at ESPN (never thought I’d cite them on the blog) finds health violations galore at major sporting venues across the country. They found everything from high levels of bacteria in ketchup dispensers to insect parts in drink machines and “mouse excreta” on all sorts of things. Sure, that’s really gross, but the real danger lurks in the out of temperature foods–hot foods that were too cold and cold foods that were too hot. That’s the kind of thing that leads to food poisoning in a hurry.
So, when you head out to the ballpark, you might want to stick to items that come prepackaged like a bag of peanuts and a canned or bottled drink.