The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Food Handling Safety in Concession Stands !

Are you cooking up trouble?

Ants, bees, flies, rain, or wind can be annoying when enjoying a hot dog and soda at the ballpark. However, all of those pale in comparison to food poisoning, another outdoor food risk!

Indoor and outdoor sports organizations risk liability in the event of a food poisoning incident resulting from ??

improper food handling in concession stands.  General Liability generally covers such occurrences, but preventing them is preferable. What follows are some basic tips for reducing such risks.

Management and purchases

  • Concession stands must adhere to local food licensing and permit laws and regulations.
  • All concession workers should receive training in proper food handling by management.
  • Only purchase food from reputable, good-quality sources.
  • Do not purchase or serve any food past the expiration date.
  • Avoid serving food prepared at home, other than baked goods.

Food Handlers

  • All concession workers must wash hands using soap and water after potential contamination. This include but is not limited to:
    • Using restroom
    • Sneezing, coughing
    • Touching counters and garbage cans, dumping garbage
    • Touching cash register and money
    • Touching face, mouth or hair
  • Use of gloves and hand sanitizers offer additional protection, but are not a substitute for frequent hand washing.
  • Food handlers must be symptom-free of illness (coughing, sneezing or sniffling, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) when handling food.
  • Food handlers must use appropriate utensils, gloves, or deli paper when handling food.

     Insects and Vermin

    • Store all food off the floor.
    • All food should be covered and spills/drips continually wiped down to discourage insects.
    • Keep trash cans covered at all times with tight-fitting lids.



    • Foods requiring refrigeration to be held at 40° F or lower until being served.
    • Keep a thermometer in your refrigerator/freezer to ensure fridge is maintained a 40°F and freezer at 0°F.
    • Perishable food should not sit out of refrigerator longer than two hours.


    • Disposable utensils and paper products should be used to reduce cleaning and contamination.
    • Do not wash or reuse disposable products.
    • Sanitize and wipe down all food preparation surfaces and concession equipment frequently.
    • Do not overfill garbage cans, and empty them frequently.

    For more detailed food handling information, you can download our food risk management report.

    Filed under: General LiabilityHealth

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