Don’t be a Super Bowl party pooper!

Super Bowl Party FoodKnown as the second highest day for food consumption after Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is much more than just a football game. With an estimated 43 million Americans planning to host a Super Bowl party, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided several tips that can help those partaking in the festivities form a solid line of defense against foodborne illness.

“This year, we’re urging fans to follow the food safety playbook at the Super Bowl parties they host,” USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said in the article. “Large gatherings can increase the chance of becoming ill, but by following a few rules all fans can enjoy the game and their food, safely.”

Some of these tips include avoiding these penalties:

  • Illegal use of hands

As stated in the article, unclean hands are one of the biggest culprits for spreading bacteria, and finger foods at parties are especially vulnerable. Chefs and guests should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Also, be sure to clean eating surfaces often, and wash serving platters before replenishing them with fresh food.

  • Offsides

The USDA recommends that you think of your party fare as two different teams—uncooked versus ready-to-eat foods. Prevent “encroachment” at all costs and keep each team in its own zone. The juices from raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that cross-contaminate other food. Use one cutting board for raw meat and Closeup of a man's hand holding a TV remote with a bowl of chipspoultry and another one for cutting veggies or foods that will not be cooked. If you use only one cutting board, wash it with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.

  • Equipment violations

Call a “time out” and use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked. Remember that internal temperature, not meat color, indicates doneness. The USDA suggests that steaks should be cooked to 145°F, ground beef should be cooked to 160°F, and all poultry should be cooked to 165°F.

  • Holding

This may be one of the most likely offenses if your party lasts late into the night. Never hold foods for more than two hours at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly to block offensive bacteria from multiplying. The same rules apply for cold foods. If cold food has been sitting out for more than two hours, do not eat it, the article states.

  • False start

When it comes to foodborne illness, there is no opportunity for an instant replay. To avoid these infractions, make sure you understand the rules completely. The USDA provides a virtual representative known as, “Ask Karen,” to help you answer all your food safety questions. Also, more information can be found by clicking here.

No matter what team you are cheering on this weekend, Americans can agree on some of their all-time favorite Super Bowl party snacks. Just for fun, here is a break down on some of the most popular items.

  •  Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Approximately 1.23 billion chicken wings, equal to about 100 million pounds of chicken, will be consumed this Sunday according to the National Chicken Council.
  • What a bunch of couch potatoes. The Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association estimates that 11.2 million pounds of potato chips will downed across the U.S on Super Bowl Sunday.
  • Holy guacamole! 8 million pounds of avocados are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday according to the California Avocado Commission.
  • What’s totally nutty is the amount of nuts Americans will consume this Sunday – 2.5 million pounds!
  • And to wash it all down? Beer! The Nielsen Company estimates that 51.7 million cases of beer will be sold to quench the thirst of football fans everywhere this Sunday. What else were you expecting?

Comments are closed.