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Join Date: Apr 2008
ACC and Rogers Centre among cleanest sports venues in N. America for food
Clean but expensive
Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre are among the cleanest sports venues in North America when it comes to food inspection, according to a survey by ESPN.com
The team at ESPN ranked more than 100 arenas in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the National Football League. The arenas were judged on routine inspections, and the scores were based on a percentage of vendors in violation of health requirements.
At the Air Canada Centre, home of the Maple Leafs and the Raptors, and the Rogers Centre, home of the Blue Jays, 0 per cent of their vendors had critical violations.
So what do the managers of the Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre think of their well-scrubbed performance?
Bob Hunter, vice president of venues and entertainment for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., said the organization was thrilled with the ranking by ESPN.com of the Air Canada Centre.
Hunter said the arena management and staff have worked hard to keep food services at the “top of its game,” adding the City of Toronto’s food inspection program is renown for being tough and keeping standards high.
Over at the Rogers Centre, Richard Wong, senior vice president for Stadium Operations, also applauded its ranking as one of the cleanest sports venues, taking pride in its “uncompromising desire to deliver on, and exceed, the food safety guidelines established by the Toronto Board of Health.”
By comparison, Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators, was the only other Canadian stadium to get a similar ranking.
In the U.S., the sports venues with a perfect score were: the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks; U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox; Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs; Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots; and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, home of the New York Islanders.
According to the survey, one of the worst offenders in the U.S. was Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. That arena had a 100 per cent score of its vendors with critical violations. The inspection report noted that “several violations addressed dirty countertops, utensils and equipment. Although every report indicated a critical violation, all vendors met basic inspection standards to keep operating.”
At Sun Life Stadium in Miami, home of the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins, the inspection report indicated: “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.”
Many of the violations at stadiums involved food that wasn’t stored at the right temperature. For example at the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, 11 vendors were cited for holding hot food at temperatures below 135 degrees.
At the Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, “poisonous or toxic materials were stored atop items used to serve customers, posing a potential risk of contamination.”
At the Staples Centre, home of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers and the Kings, “one stand dumped 9.5 pounds of sushi after inspectors found that it became too warm.”
In Denver at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, inspectors found fruit flies in bottles of whiskey; and at the Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, inspectors found “phorid flies, sometimes called coffin flies, in a bottle of cognac.”
Here at home, one of the worst offenders was Rexall Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers. The report said 25 per cent of its vendors received critical violations.