If you're going to eat at an MLB game, do it in Seattle, not Tampa Bay

Safeco Field is the safest ballpark to sit down and have a meal. (AP Photo)
Safeco Field is the safest ballpark to sit down and have a meal. (AP Photo)

If you’re going to splurge on some grasshoppers at a Seattle Mariners game, the only thing you need to worry about is your own fear. Safeco Field rated as the top ballpark when it comes to food safety, according to data collected by Sports Illustrated.

The data looked at public health inspection reports from 28 different teams. Sports Illustrated then ranked each club according to how many violations health departments found at each park.

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Every park had a couple violations, but that doesn’t mean fans should immediately freak out, as SI explains.

Representatives from health departments across the country explained that violations on their own don’t mean fans should panic, but they should be most wary of violations found across multiple concession stands within a stadium.

They also compiled an explanation of the different types of violations, and what they mean. For detailed explanations, go here.

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, we’ll get to the part you’ve been anxiously waiting for: The rankings. Oh, a quick note, the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers are the two teams not included in SI’s rankings. The health departments in those areas failed to send data.

As you already know, Safeco Field in Seattle ranked at the top of the list. And it wasn’t close. Inspectors found just five violations in the park, and only one critical violation. The average ballpark in the survey had 58 violations and 24 critical violations. So, yeah, the Mariners blew the competition away here. That’s probably a good thing, because you can get some pretty diverse food options at the park.

Ranking at the absolute bottom – because let’s face it, you really want to know – is the Tampa Bay Rays. Tropicana Field was hit with 241 violations and 105 critical violations. Two specific areas in the park racked up 20 violations on their own. Those ranged from live insects to black mold in ice bins … which … gross. And that’s actually an improvement! As Sports Illustrated states, only half the concession stands produced a critical violation this time around. Seven years ago, that number was 100 percent. Maybe find a nice restaurant before heading to a Rays game.

We won’t spoil the rest of the rankings, but we will reveal the rest of the top-five. Behind Safeco was Fenway Park, Minute Maid Park, Coors Field and Chase Field. Wrigley Field ranked eighth. Yankee Stadium sat down at 21st. Dodger Stadium came in at 25th.

The Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001, but at least their fans can brag about something! Seriously, though, they should brag about this. Having food poisoning is the worst.

So, if you’re going to eat at Safeco Field, feel free to try out the grasshoppers, seafood, waffles or tacos. If you’re heading to Tropicana Field, maybe stick to a bag of peanuts.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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