Lucas Oil Stadium makes progress with food safety

Published: .
Updated: .

Bob Segall/13 Investigates

Indianapolis - The Colts are about to begin their third season at Lucas Oil Stadium. They are struggling in the pre-season, but how is their home field performing? 13 Investigates has obtained the latest round of health inspection reports.

A year ago, Lucas Oil Stadium was infested with rodents. An Eyewitness News investigation showed health inspectors has discovered dead mice, live mice and mouse droppings throughout food service areas inside the stadium and contractors worked for months to clean things up.

Now, as the Colts are gearing up for the regular season, so are the health inspectors. Two weeks ago, Marion County food safety inspectors visited dozens of food stands at Lucas Oil Stadium, and 13 Investigates has obtained their reports.

They show 61 food areas were inspected and 31 of them were in very good condition.

"When you have more than half of the stands we inspected coming back with no violations whatsoever, that's a good sign," said John Althardt, Marion County Health Department.

Althardt says inspectors did find 38 food safety violations and most of those were minor problems.

"23 violations were corrected on site. Only 15 will need to be re-inspected. We can all feel pretty good about that," he said.

But inspectors did find several critical violations including hot dogs, noodles, meat and eggs that were held at potentially dangerous temperatures that could make stadium visitors sick.

Perhaps the most striking information in these reports is what inspectors did not find: not a single mention of any rodents or mouse droppings in any of the stadium's food service areas.

"There was a huge issue with rodents 12 months ago. That issue seems to be under control now," he said.

The health department says the stadium has made excellent progress since 13 Investigates first reported on the facility's serious food safety problems. But so far, inspectors have only visited about a third of the food service areas inside the stadium. They'll be back in September and at that point, the preseason is over. They'll be inspecting everything.