- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nationals fans may want to consider eating before heading to Nationals Park for a baseball game, as the stadium placed 24th on Sports Illustrated’s 2017 MLB Ballpark Food Safety Rankings.

Compiling thousands of health inspection records from local health departments, SI ranked 28 major league ballparks based on their most recent inspection (Cleveland’s Progressive Field and Detroit’s Comerica Park were left off the list, as SI’s public records requests went unfulfilled by both cities). 

According to SI, inspectors found a total of 49 food safety violations at Nationals Park, including 18 critical violations. Critical violations are “citations linked to the spread of foodborne illnesses or, if an inspector had not been there to correct the violation, could have led to these risk factors.”

“The low total of inspected vendors drops D.C. down this list — the most recent inspections at Nationals Park came the day after the 2017 home opener, and inspectors only canvassed 24 total entities,” wrote Tanner Walters. “Nearly all of them registered at least one violation, and many were critical.”

“Multiple refrigeration units were not holding temperature correctly, allowing numerous cold food items to be held at improper temperatures. Two handwashing sinks were missing soap and some of the vendors failed to provide thermometers at their stand.”

The Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field topped SI’s rankings with only 5 total violations — despite the fact one of the ballpark’s marquee food offerings is toasted grasshoppers

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