Wrigley Field Ranks 8th In New Food Safety Study. Guaranteed Rate Field Did Not Do So Well.
By Rachel Cromidas in Food on Aug 10, 2017 5:08PM
Photo via Chicago Cubs website
In a new Sports Illustrated study on food safety at 28 major baseball stadiums, Chicago's Wrigley Field did OK—depending on how you feel about food prep standards. It was ranked the 8th safest out of the 28 MLB stadium spots. Meanwhile, you'll find Guaranteed Rate Field (formerly U.S. Cellular Field) farther down on the list, at 18th.
The magazine made its report using records from health department inspections in each city. Wrigley Field's most recent inspections found eight "critical violations" which can pose a safety risk to visitors, including storing food at the wrong temperatures, and another 28 violations overall. On the other side of town, the White Sox's stadium had 28 critical violations, including "dozens of mice droppings in multiple locations" and "flies under prep tables."
Seattle's Safeco Field got the best rating and Tamp Bay's Tropicana field came in last.
As Sports Illustrated points out, the median number of critical violations across the stadiums was 24. Critical violations are problems that are either likely to spread food-borne illnesses, or likely to lead to this if they are not corrected promptly.
For Wrigley, these problems included "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," according to SI. Surprisingly, given Chicago's recent pest problems, "No rodent activity was observed." So that's good.
Critical problems at Guaranteed Rate Field also included "missing or inaccessible hand sinks or employees not washing hands before putting on new gloves." Given that each of these stadiums has been beefing up its concessions offerings this year, we had hoped for better.