Scotiabank Place pretty clean. Be grateful.

Make a hockey-lovin' face at Scotiabank Place, and do so without the significant risk of food poisoning present at so many other pro sports venues!

While perusing a vendor inspection report for North America's biggest sporting venues on ESPN (via Puck Daddy), I came to the startling conclusion that sports concessions are in large part disgusting, but the reassuring fact that Scotiabank Place is one of few exceptions to that rule.

While most venues had at least some violations--including two with violations at every single vendor (Tropicana Field in Tampa and Verizon Center in Washington)--our own SBP had none. Which is nice to know. The most common violations seemed to be improper refrigeration of meat, dairy products, or sushi, and others included unsatisfactory dishwashing protocols or inadequate hand-washing.

This one was bad, from the AT&T Center in San Antonio:

Inspectors found 18 pounds of hot dogs that had expired more than 10 days prior.

The award for most-improved goes to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but mostly because they were so disgustingly disgusting to start with:

Vendors received 39 critical violations during a series of inspections in 2009 for pests or rodents. Last November, a local TV station highlighted problems the stadium had with mice after inspectors found mouse droppings, dead mice and live mice in various parts of the stadium, prompting action. During a series of inspections in late December 2009 and January 2010, only one critical violation for pests or rodents was found.

And this one's scary, from FedExForum in Memphis:

Toxic items were improperly stored at one location.

But this one has to be the worst, in Sun Life Stadium in Miami:

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.

I'm not sure what kind of slime had built up, but that's just raunchy.

Although Canada did alright--the ACC, Rogers Centre, and Scotiabank Place were violation-free, while the four others were fairly safe--Chicago was the best city for stadium-cleanliness: the United Center, U.S. Cellular Field, and Wrigley Field were all without violations, while Soldier Field only had 12% violations (mostly due to lack of hot water). Gillette Stadium (Massachusetts), Scottrade Center (St. Louis), and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Long Island) were the only other critical violation-free venues. And Florida had to be the worst: Eight venues, all with at least a 67% violation ratio. So excercise caution when watching sports in Florida.

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