Previous health violations found at Levi's Stadium

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Before you take a bite at the Super Bowl this weekend, you might want to know what health inspectors say they've previously found at Levi's Stadium. It is the same type of violations the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health says they often see at other restaurants.

Levi's Stadium caters to more than football fans. It's a foodie's heaven.

Before the stadium opened in 2014, journalists were invited to taste culinary creativity at its finest.

Former Levi's Stadium Chef Ryan Stone said, "We have Asian foods, we have Indian foods, Mexican, BBQ, sausages..."

Now ABC 7 News is taking a more recent look behind the curtain and sharing where Levi's Stadium has, at times, fallen short.

"Nobody wants the public to get sick," Jim Blamey said.

Blamey is Director of the Department of Environmental Health in Santa Clara County. DEH has approximately 60 inspectors who cover more than 10,000 food facilities in Santa Clara County including Levi's Stadium. He says inspections began before the stadium even opened.

Blamey said they checked the "carts to the meat slicers to the heaters and the coolers."

DEH provided us with Levi's Stadium inspection data from July 30, 2014 through December 20, 2015. It shows food facility violations... including one this past October where they found "a dark mold-like substance.. inside the ice machine."

"We're looking for violations of the food code," Blamey said.

The most common violation inspectors say they observed during this time period was improper handwashing.

"Having an employee that doesn't wash their hands and possibly contaminate the food is a major violation," Blamey said.

PHOTOS: Super Bowl City takes over Downtown San Francisco

They say it is major because it can cause food-borne illness.

Inspectors say they observed this violation even when stadium employees knew an inspection was underway.

"When we're in a facility and walking around with our clipboards and taking notes, people pretty much know who we are," Blamey said.

The second most common violation inspectors say they observed during the same time period was improper food temperatures. Blamey says it's another major violation that can also cause food borne illness.

Blamey explained they look at the food temperatures "from refrigerators, to the holding as they prepare the food, and then when they're actually cooking the food, that the food is kept in certain zones."

He says both major violations are what inspectors often observe at other food facilities throughout the county. DEH says food facilities can correct major violations on-site during an inspection -- otherwise they are closed until they comply.

Levi's Stadium food vendor, Centerplate, denied our request to observe an inspection.

In an emailed statement, Centerplate says, "100% of service locations currently hold a green placard rating, signifying a safe operation according to health officials. Any violations identified by inspectors were immediately corrected and no violations are outstanding at this time."

As 70,000 fans fill the stadium seats, snacks in hand, count on inspectors to be doing their jobs as well Super Bowl Day.

Click here for full coverage of Super Bowl 50
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.