August 17, 2022
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Monroe County Health Department does not inspect concession stands

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Patrons order food and drinks at the concession stand during the Bloomington North versus Southport football game in October 2020.

For many, a summer day at the ballpark isn’t complete without a hot dog or a box of popcorn from the concession stand. But a combination of warm weather, exposure to the outdoors and volunteers without backgrounds in food preparation means there’s a chance of being served unsafe food.

Typically, the Monroe County Health Department regularly inspects restaurants and food trucks, and health violations are public record. But Indiana Code 16-18-2-137 states health departments don’t have to regulate food served for “educational purposes in a nonpublic educational setting.” 

This means the county health department doesn’t inspect most concession stands, including those affiliated with schools and youth organizations such as little leagues, said Ashley Berquist, MCHD’s environmental health services manager. 

School concessions run by athletic departments, clubs

Schools usually have an appointed person or group in charge of maintaining their concession stands, Berquist said. But since the county health department doesn’t inspect them, it doesn’t keep any information on them.



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