According to this ESPN article 100% of all vendors tested at the Verizon Center failed their inspections.
More sickeningly, mice droppings were found at at least 10 vendors tested.
I for one may never eat or drink at the Verizon Center again. Ugh...
Along with the article is a video which includes an anonymous interview with a food manager at Aramark (the company that runs food at the Verizon Center and elsewhere) disclosing some horrendous things he's witnessed.
UPDATED: Ted Leonsis has responded.
I was surprised and disappointed by ESPN’s recent industry-wide report and ratings related to the cleanliness of professional sports venues, including Verizon Center. Since we acquired Verizon Center from Washington Sports and Entertainment six weeks ago, we have been planning and making improvements. Please be assured that we take the complaints of our customers extremely seriously, and quality and cleanliness are paramount.
We remain in the early stages of our evaluation process, and the ESPN report touched on some of the elements we have been examining and will be vigilant in improving. We will redouble our efforts immediately and review all facets of the issues identified. Once we have the facts, we will embark on remedies.
From what I understand, the ESPN report stems from incidents in 2009. These professional inspections are conducted several times throughout the year, are unannounced and are public record. When and if issues arise, we will take appropriate action, and from what I understand we have done exactly that in the past.
Aramark and Levy are our concessionaires at the arena. We have had a good relationship with both of them throughout the years, and we count on them to maintain a clean, safe, courteous and responsible service environment for our customers. Aramark recently launched a website to demonstrate and highlight their continued commitment to food safety, www.aramarkqualityfood.com.
The past couple of weeks I have talked about my plan to walk a mile in our employees’ footsteps and participate in the cleaning process. I now will step up those efforts and make this a top priority. I will personally get involved in the process and the solutions. We are on it; we’ve already started. We will move this issue from one that appears shocking to one that is a source of pride. I promise.
I for one am inclined to give Ted the benefit of the doubt that he is working to investigate and solve the problem, though of course we shall see what he'll end up doing.
Stay Casual, my friends.