A recent report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines has given sports fans and food lovers alike a reason to avoid concession stands at stadiums besides paying astronomical prices ($20 for a hot dog, really?).
Documenting over 16,000 food safety inspections from 111 venues across the Big Four pro sports leagues (NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL), ESPN found 28 per cent of stadiums violating sanitary standards at half or more of their concession businesses.
Among the infractions were moldy burger buns, animal poop, employees mishandling food (people carry germs, people), dead mice, pigeon infestations, beer leaking through roofs, a food poisoning plague that afflicted one poor marching band – you get the idea.
To avoid the same poor publicity or vomiting customers these stadiums now face, here are some simple concession stand cleaning tips, and the tools required, to ensure your consumers are only eating food:
Fast Foods, Fast Solutions
It takes just one spilled slushie or rolling hot dog to wreak unsanitary havoc on your concessions counter or display. Always be prepared with microfiber towels and cleaning solutions on hand to tackle any minor messes, which can become a festering chaos if not immediately dealt with.
We always recommend all-purpose, grease-removing, streak-free cleaning solutions like this for their flexibility around food stands. This particular cleaning product from Watchdog is ammonia-free, so painted and plastic surfaces can be safely cleaned, as well as high traffic food prep areas.
If you haven’t cleaned some equipment for a while, like your popcorn popper for example, have carbon build-up remover on the ready to deal with any messy kettles, grill grids, or other often-used cooking equipment.
Know Your Food Health Code Regulations and Violations
Don’t face an unexpected fine – or worse, a potential closure – because you oblivious to your city or town’s food health code regulations. Mishandling food and unsanitary work stations are common sense, but running refrigerators at the wrong temperature are lesser known food safety violations your business can be penalized for.
Be sure both you and your team are on top of health code violations so you’re all adhering to local health codes without interrupting business practices.
Create a Concessions Cleaning Checklist
Not only are lists easy to create, they’re easy to follow. A concession cleaning checklist keeps everybody on the same page, which can be quickly referenced to see what’s been done and still needs to be done during the workday.
Here, we’ve done half the work for you with this simple starting checklist:
- Take out the garbage, and deliver it straight to the dumpster
- Wipe down and sanitize all counters, sinks, and food prep areas
- Sweep the floor with a trusty broom, or scrub it down with a mop
- Ensure all equipment is kept clean and free of built-up grime, grease, oil, or in the case of popcorn equipment, carbon deposits
- Discard all leftover food; leave no concessions standing in sub-optimal temperatures
- Clean beverage dispenser heads or the tips of soda guns
Keep your concession stand clean and tidy with Wonderland Foods food equipment cleaning products! From kettle cleaning solutions and glass cleaners to carbon-build removers, we have everything you need to keep clean and orderly when the rowdy crowds and tough messes drop by your joint.