On Thursday, ESPN's Outside the Lines investigative team published a report that ranked 111 North American stadiums, arenas, and ballparks by the rate of food-safety violations they've received.
Not one of Minnesota's major sports venues -- U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Field, Target Center, Xcel Energy Center -- managed to crack the least-violating half of the rankings. That said, 73 of the complexes recorded good or better violation rates than their surrounding communities, including Target Center and Xcel, and only nine of 'em had worse rates. So, as you bite into your $43 hot dog and sip your $91 beer, rest easy knowing they're not especially unclean.
The worst violator? Charlotte, North Carolina's Spectrum Center, home of the NBA's Hornets (92 percent rate). The most compliant? Oakland, California's Oracle Arena, home of the NBA's Warriors (1 percent rate). Click here to see the entire list, which was compiled using 16,000-plus inspection reports from local health departments.
Here's a rundown of the Twin Cities venues analyzed by ESPN.
U.S. Bank Stadium
High-level violations: 59 percent (90th highest out of 111 venues)
Notable violations (2017): In an area that lacked water for an entire day, employees repeatedly asked supervisors for water, but the issue was not fixed resulting in hand-washing violations; walk-in cooler temperature nine degrees too warm; employees preparing food while not wearing gloves and hairnets.
Response: "Food safety is a top priority and fundamental to our business," reads a statement from Aramark, the stadium's concessionaire. "Any items noted during an inspection are quickly addressed and corrected... we hold ourselves accountable for providing this vital assurance to our customers and consumers."
High-level violations: 50 percent (79th)
Notable violations (2016-'17): Failure to control "insects, rodents and other pests" in the main commissary; food being held too long at improper temperatures at the Carew Buffet; concession workers failing or improperly washing hands.
Response: "Food safety at Target Field and the health and safety of Twins fans is a top priority," reads a statement from Delaware North, the ballpark's concessionaire. "Our managers work closely with health inspectors and immediately begin addressing and correcting any issues. We are committed to continuing to meet health department standards to ensure the safety of our guests."
High-level violations: 48 percent (72nd)
Notable violations (2016-'17): Food being held at improper temps in suites; improper recording of food workers experiencing "diarrhea or vomiting"; failure to control "insects, rodents and pests" in the main kitchen.
Response: "At every event held at Target Center, our primary focus is always directed toward the safety of our guests, and a key component of that focus is on the safety of our food and beverage," reads a statement provided by Levy, the arena's concessionaire. "We work closely with the local health department and third-party industry-leading sanitation experts to ensure that we are in strict accordance with all health code regulations and guidelines, and immediately address and correct any issues once identified."
Xcel Energy Center
High-level violations: 43 percent (65th)
Notable violations (2016-'17): Mouse droppings in a pantry; an employee tasting zucchini while cooking and handling food without washing hands; under-cooked roast beef and duck.
Response: "The safety and well-being of our guests is our number one priority," reads a statement from the arena's PR team. "Levy, our food and beverage partner, works diligently with the local health department and employs third-party sanitation experts to ensure a safe environment for our guests. Any time a concern is identified, we immediately work with Levy to correct it and welcome the health department to return to confirm that we are in full compliance."