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Survey: NYC Sporting Venues Have Big Health Code Violations

CookingWPIXMadison Square GardenESPNNassau Coliseum

Fans may want to eat out before going to a sporting event in New York City, a new report -- and some local sports fans -- suggest.

A survey of 107 major sporting venues nationwide by ESPN found that about a third of them had significant health code violations.

In New York, the worst offender was Madison Square Garden. Sixty-one percent of vendors inside the world's most famous arena had critical violations. Among them, 53 mouse droppings found underneath cash registers at the front food preparation/service area and on top of a soft drink dispensing unit.

At Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, 48 percent of vendors were found to have critical violations. Some hot dogs at the stadium were heated to 91 degrees Fahrenheit, but inspectors require them to be 140 degrees. Also, in front of an inspector a vendor dumped out a bottle of whiskey containing dead fruit flies.

In Queens, at Citi Field, 45 percent of vendors had critical violations. An inspector's report found a few vendors selling "spoiled, adulterated, contaminated or cross-contaminated" food.

Spokespeople for all of the sporting venues say the issues have been dealt with since the inspection reports were issued. Fans who spoke with PIX 11 News were skeptical, but said it won't stop them from going to games.

"I'm a big Mets fan," Sean Kegel told PIX 11 News. "I'll eat the food, I'll take my chances." Yankees fan Douglas Zaccaro told PIX 11 News, "I go to the stadium to watch the game, not to have dinner."

"I think it's part of it," Mets fan Ed Bryant said. "I think it's like having a dirty water dog on the street." Knicks fan Jennifer Cunningham said, "As long as it's a good enough event, I would still go. I probably wouldn't eat there."

Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, however, had a perfect inspection record with no vendor being cited for any health code violations. It was the same case at the New Meadowlands Stadium, where the Jets and Giants play, but that North Jersey venue is too new to have any significant health code inspections.

Coincidentally, New Meadowlands Stadium hosts an all-you-can-eat food tasting for local media at noon on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun