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Two Nearby Ballparks Made The Top 10 on ‘Food Safety Ranking’, One Did Not

Sports Illustrated published a list of Major League Baseball parks ranking in food safety. so how did Chicago and Milwaukee do?

SI dared to delve through thousands of public inspection reports to find out how food safety fared across all the MLB ballparks throughout the country. Two nearby parks did well, but one did not make the top 10. And, before anyone freaks out, this does not mean you shouldn’t enjoy your favorite ballpark food. According to Sports Illustrated,

Representatives from health departments across the country explained that violations on their own don’t mean fans should panic, but they should be most wary of violations found across multiple concession stands within a stadium.

Before jumping into nearby ballparks, the ballpark at the bottom of the list it Tropicana Field. There were over 200 food-related violations.

Violations ranged from the observed presence of live insects to black mold accumulating inside an ice bin. An employee was observed handling hot dogs and cash without washing hands in between.

So how did Guaranteed Rate and Wrigley Field do?

Chicago White Sox
Getty Images

Chicago’s Southside ballpark didn’t quite hit the top 10, instead, it came in at #18. So why was is it in the bottom half of “food safety” at ballparks? Out of 43 inspections at Guaranteed Rate Field, there were 48 violations – 28 listed as “critical.”

Cold food held up to 30 degrees above regulated temperature? Dozens of mice droppings in multiple locations? Flies under prep tables? The mid-June inspection at Guaranteed Rate Field revealed a plethora of violations—many critical—in Chicago.



Other critical problems related to poor hygienic practices, like missing or inaccessible hand sinks or employees not washing hands before putting on new gloves. The stadium also failed its first inspection last year, before improving in follow-ups.

What about Wrigley Field?

Chicago Cubs
Getty Images

Wrigley Field broke the top ten at #8, proving to be the better ballpark once again. (This being the opinion of a Chicago Cubs’ fan.) Wrigley fared low on the list because of the few areas that required inspection. There were a few “critical” violations, 8 altogether.

The critical issues involved either foods at improper temperatures (tomatoes and lettuce 55° , potato salad 50° , Italian beef 115°  and beef sandwiches 105° ) or improper rodent- and insect-proofing measures on kitchen doors. No rodent activity was observed.

The “friendly confines” edged out Miller Park, which was at #10. “Wrigley North” has almost double the amount of inspected areas as Wrigley which is why the number of “critical violations” is at a whopping 34.

Many of the findings here were related to food at dangerous temperatures, along with missing thermometers, improper sanitizer concentration and expired food. Three concession stands had at least seven violations each. Four ice machine units visibly soiled with mold on the interior.

Again, this list compiled by Sports Illustrated does not mean you will get sick if you eat food at a major league ballpark. And, if you want to see the full list, click here.


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