It’s coming. The most popular TV event of the year — Super Bowl Sunday!!! That means the four F’s…Fun, Family, Friends and Food. The pressure is on. You don’t want to be the Super Bowl party host that your guests call — or even worse, post to social media — saying they got foodborne illness. Start planning your viewing party with our four food safety steps: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.
Washing hands frequently with warm soapy water for 20 seconds, especially after handling raw foods, is the best way to reduce the spread of germs and prevent foodborne illness. While enjoying foods, encourage party guests to wash hands before and after eating and provide disposable towelettes nearby for a quick touch up.
Your goal is to avoid cross-contamination. When grocery shopping, separate raw meat and poultry from produce and other food items in your shopping cart. Place raw foods in plastic bags to prevent their juices, which may contain harmful bacteria, from dripping onto other foods. When preparing your Super Bowl party trays, cut your fruits and veggies on a cutting board separate from where you prepare other raw meat and poultry products. This will help you avoid cross-contamination.
Don’t Forget to Use Your Food Thermometer! It is the only way to ensure the safety of meat, poultry, seafood and egg products. If your Super Bowl menu includes chicken wings, they should reach a safe internal temperature of 165 °F, as measured by a food thermometer.
This is it! You made it! Touchdown!!! To keep food out of the “Danger Zone” (40 °F - 140 °F) keep hot foods (like pizza and wings) hot and cold foods (like guacamole) cold. When setting food out, be sure to serve cold foods in small portions to limit them being in the Danger Zone, or nest in a bowl of ice to keep them cold, and keep hot foods in a pre-heated oven. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
By following our food safety steps, you can ensure that no one at your party will experience a food safety malfunction not even during the halftime show.
Byline: Janice López-Muñoz, Food Safety Education Staff, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
Date: Friday, January 20, 2017