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DON'T DRINK THE WATER, OR EAT THE PEANUTS OR CRACKER JACKS
Published May 21, 1998
An "Inside Edition" undercover investigation "found serious food safety problems at [MLB] parks all across the country," according to Matt Meagher. "IE" visited 15 MLB parks, and shot hidden-camera footage depicting apparent violations by food workers. Meagher: "We were looking for so-called critical violations, shoddy food handling and service practices the [FDA] says can lead to food-born illness." At Bank One Ballpark, Meagher found "hot dogs, burgers and chicken served at dangerously low temperatures." Meagher: "But it wasn't only Phoenix. At eight of the 15 stadiums, half of the foods we tested were below the 140- degree (FDA approved temperature) safety limit." Meagher said that food temperature "is just one problem," noting health inspection reports that found "rodents and cockroaches in Kansas City, flies in San Francisco, and rodent droppings" in the Astrodome. While Fenway Park was one of the ballparks that received a "clean bill of health" earlier this year, that was when it was inspected three days before opening day with "no food, no fans." "IE" found "dangerously low temperatures in nearly half the Fenway food we tested." Meagher: "We tried to get some answers from Aramark, the company that runs Fenway Park's food concessions. Instead, we got kicked out." "IE" was also kicked out of the concession areas at Yankee Stadium. Afterward, host Deborah Norville: "Concessionaires at Kansas City, Milwaukee and Phoenix all say that they periodically spot check their food, and that they are looking into our findings. Health officials in Boston say that they plan follow-up inspections" ("Inside Edition," 5/20).