Super Bowl puts Americans in a fowl mood

As the New York Giants and the New England Patriots gear up for the biggest Sunday of the season, people across the United States also are preparing for the second largest eating day of the year – Super Bowl Sunday.

What’s on the menu?

If you’re in the majority of Americans, it’s chicken wings. More than 100 million feather-plucked pounds of them.

Pause. Take it all in. Preferably with some buffalo sauce.

An estimated 1.25 billion-plus wing portions will be eaten during Super Bowl weekend — enough to circle the Earth if they were laid end-to-end, according to the National Chicken Council’s 2012 Wing Report.

Here are some other quick stats from the report:

  • About 23 percent of people who watch the Super Bowl will eat wings, about three times more than a non-super Sunday.
  • If laid end-to-end (again), the number of chicken wings expected to be consumed during Super Bowl Sunday would reach a quarter of the way to the moon. Yes, that’s right. The moon.

It’s also important to make sure the giant mountain of wings gracing your Super Bowl buffet table stays safe to eat through the entire game. Foodsafety.gov has a few tips on how to keep your wings and other snacks clean and safe.

  • Follow the two hour rule. Don’t leave food at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Clean the food area often. Ditto for your hands.
  • Don’t use the same utensils or plates for raw and cooked foods.

Lastly, watch the double dippers. Seinfeld’s George Constanza was right — it’s like they put their whole mouth in the bowl! According to a Clemson University study published in the Journal of Food Safety in 2008 and featured in the New York Times, three to six double dips can transfer around 10,000 bacteria from the double dippers mouth to the communal dip bowl. Yuck.

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