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Toronto’s stadium food is expensive and fattening, but at least it’s vermin-free

Apparently it's not just the Knicks that stink up Madison Square Gardens (Image: Zach Klein)

ESPN has put together a pretty hilarious interactive map that compiles health inspection reports from professional sports stadiums. The violations run the gamut from predictable-but-gross (mould, roaches) to the surprisingly-super-gross (an employee scooping ice with his bare hands). Canada fares rather well in the roundup. The ACC, Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Place (Ottawa) had no major violations. The worst venue was Edmonton’s Rexall Place, where a quarter of the building’s vendors did not pass inspections.

Now, let’s move south to America’s (sadly literal) shit show:

Considering the legendary status of New York’s Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium, we were surprised to find out that 61 per cent and 48 per cent of MSG and Yankee Stadium’s vendors, respectively, didn’t meet health standards. Inspectors found 53 incidents of mice droppings at MSG; at Yankee Stadium they made a vendor dump a bottle of Chivas whisky containing numerous dead flies. Cue disturbing images of Woody Allen, Spike Lee and Billy Crystal eating hot dogs, courtside.

Michigan was one of the worst states, with all four of its stadiums—Comerica Park, Ford Field, Joe Louis Arena and The Palace of Auburn Hills—committing critical violations that include employees not washing hands, improperly refrigerated food and roaches. The “best” stadium had 31 per cent of its vendors breaching health codes while the worst (Ford Field) had a whopping 70 per cent.

The title of the worst stadium in America, however, goes to Washington DC’s Verizon Centre, where none of the  vendors were up to code (mice droppings seem to be the predominant problem).

Oh, the guy who scooped ice with his hands? He works (or worked) at Arizona’s Jobing.com Arena.

• What’s lurking in your stadium food? [ESPN]

UPDATED: July 29, 2010 at 3:55 p.m.