British soccer stadium Forest Green Rovers Football Club recently instituted a ban on burgers and sausages. Its vegan owner first barred the team's players from partaking in red meat for "health and performance reasons," and then extended the policy to patrons as well, reasoning that if the food wasn't good enough for the players, it wasn't good enough for fans either.
We think the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium take this a step further and just ban all meat from its menus, not for the sake of being green, but to avoid potential food borne illness and death. According to ESPN's Outside the Lines and the Palm Beach Post, the stadium was rated last year as one of the worst health code violators in pro sports.
Among 107 NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB venues nationally, only two fared worse than Sun Life, with 93 percent of its vendors having committed "critical violations." (The other two stadiums, the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, had 100 percent violation rates.) Among the top complaints were insects being ground up into frozen cocktails and sludge build-up in the frozen drink machines. (Centerplate, the provider of all food and beverage items for the stadium, did pass official health inspection, despite the numerous violations.)
With only 7 percent of the concession stands handling food safely, we think it makes sense to simply delete meat from the menu. Those pummeled-looking undercooked burgers make the perfect vessels for E. Coli 0157:H7, a fun bacterial illness characterized by severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Those tasteless chicken sandwiches, if not cooked to temperature, could be the source of the next Salmonella outbreak, which can be deadly for those with weakened immune systems.
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So why can't fans simply make their own choices when it comes to going meatless? Well, if the food handling is as sloppy as we have reason to believe it is, simply having contaminated meat items near benign foods like lettuce could cause cross contamination and have the same end effect: You on the toilet, in agony. And so we have concluded that the only safe way to have meat at Sun Life Stadium is to not have meat at Sun Life Stadium.
Some meathead football fans might be outraged at the proposal of meatless Miami football, but we say, get with the times, fatties! Would you rather eat a eggplant and zucchini wrap or fall ill for three days?