Editor’s Note:  Over the summer and fall, Food Safety News will be visiting Major League Ballparks.  Our major focus will be food safety, but we will also check to see what local foods are favorites and what’s bringing the crowds out.

progressive-field-featured.jpgToday’s ballpark: Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians

Why Now: Not since the days after President Clinton opened “Jacobs Field” in Cleveland in 1994 has there been as been buzz about a baseball game as there is about the one that will be played on Sunday.   That’s because the Washington Nationals are coming to Cleveland for some interleague play and they’ve decided 21-year-old Stephen Strasberg will pitch in his first Major League Road game.

Strasberg, last year’s No. 1 draft choice, just pitched his first game in the Majors, winning a 5-2 decision against Pittsburg.  He gave up a two-run homerun and left the game after seven innings with a 2.57 earned run average.   He struck out 14.

Now the pitching “phenomenon” is coming to Cleveland, and the stadium now called “Progressive Field” is getting ready for one the largest crowds it will see all year.

Recent Inspection: Gerald Murphy, a food inspector for the City of Cleveland, was in attendance last April 17 when the Cleveland Indians were defeating the Chicago White Socks, 3-2.

Murphy was probably too busy to enjoy much of the game, however.  He inspected two vendors–Beers of World B13 and Sno Kone 150—and five food stands all licensed to Cleveland Sports Service Inc.

Violations:   Murphy left behind notices of two critical violations from his inspections at two stands.  Hot enough temperatures for proper hand washing were not possible at one stand because of a plumbing problem.  Another was cited for not keeping cleaned items in separate, clean and dry locations.

What Cleveland Likes:  Strickland’s ice cream and cinnamon apples sticks along with stadium mustard are among the local food items Indian fans crave.  Chicken and waffles are also local favorites.

Summary:  At 16 , the old “Jake” remains one of America’s favorite ballparks even though its Indians are not having a good year and attendance is off.   A sell-out Sunday, however, is possible.  With the Indians pitcher being David Huff with a 2-7 record and a 5.46 ERA, don’t be surprised if cinnamon apple stick sales are brisk.