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Which Baseball Stadium Has The Safest Food?

Baseball stadiums are constantly rolling out new foods, trying to elevate their cuisine above hot dogs and peanuts and Cracker Jack. With all these new foods, Sports Illustrated wanted to see just how safe it was to eat at each ballpark in the country.

Seattle’s Safeco Field finished atop the rankings, while Tropicana Field (home of the Tampa Bay Rays, a place where I have eaten before but never will again) came in last.

How about our three local teams?

#12, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Phillies

citizens bank park, philadelphia phillies
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Total violations: 88 | Critical violations: 17
Ballpark Food Safety Rating: 1.24 | Entities inspected: 85

Food prep ‘carried out on top of a trash receptacle’ and cold pepperoni 10 degrees warmer than allowed were among the variety of violations found in a series of April inspections. Eighty-five food entities were inspected at the ballpark. Many of the violations focused on general cleanliness, with things like dish racks stored on the floor, grease accumulation on surfaces below a flat top grill and food utensils kept in close proximity to the mop sink. Some food prep violations were also marked, including boxes of beef patties, bags of rolls and packages of cheeses observed wet from a condensation leak.

#16, Citi Field, New York Mets

citi field, new york mets
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Total violations: 65 | Critical violations: 26
Ballpark Food Safety Rating: 1.63 | Entities inspected: 56

A full inspection of 56 food and beverage entities at Citi Field in mid-June this year revealed that only seven stations went without a violation against them. Of the critical violations, many were related to cold food items being held at dangerous temperatures. In non-critical issues, though, there were 26 instances of ‘non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained.’ New York City doesn’t publish the detailed observations from inspectors.

#21, Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees

yankee stadium, new york yankees
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Total violations: 57 | Critical violations: 24
Ballpark Food Safety Rating: 2.19 | Entities inspected: 37

Yankee Stadium led the league with critical violations (62% of its stands), and an infestation of flies highlighted the inspections from late July in the Bronx. Inspectors handed out citations at over a dozen food entities around the ballpark for observation of flies and improper vermin-proofing. The city doesn’t give detailed observations in its reports, but nearly a quarter of the stadium’s violations came from improper maintenance for non-food surfaces. Last year, even without a fly problem, Yankee Stadium would have finished in the same spot in the rankings. The ballpark had fewer overall violations but more that were critical, mostly from the restaurants and suites.

Ugh. Next time I’ll just eat before I go to the game.

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