A recent study completed by ESPN.com found that 20% of the food vendors operating in HP Pavillion comitted "critical heathcode violations" in 2009.
HP Pavilion at San Jose
San Jose Sharks
Vendors with critical violations: 20%
Inspection report excerpt: At one location, inspectors found Chinese chicken salad had warmed to 60 degrees, about 20 degrees above a safe temperature.
Although 20% is lower than many of the other stadiums in the country, the fact remains that one fifth of all food vendors in HP Pavilion are putting their patrons at risk of serious health issues.
What makes matters worse? The realization that the food is charged at a premium of 20-30% over non-arena prices. I understand that the vendors are taking advantage of a captive consumer base. That's capitalism at it's finest, and 100% legal.
However, the truth of the matter is that this profit-gouging comes at the expense of our health as consumers. To justify the exorbitant prices of food, shouldn't they be responsible for making that food safe for consumption?
If you're going to charge me $25 for a hot dog, fries and a beer, I expect that meal to be clean, and the conditions in which it was made to be up to code.
Bottom line is that the vendors are too concerned with the bottom line. So just remember: Next time you're in line for $9.00 chicken tenders, the financial cost isn't the only thing you should be worried about.
For more in depth reading, check out the ESPN "Outside the Lines" report.