Brenda Marty Jimenez, UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Agent IV
Amarat Simonne, Ph.D. UF/IFAS Extension, Professor and Extension Specialist
The Super Bowl may look a little different this year being that it is going to be held during a pandemic. One thing that remains the same is the need to follow the basic food safety principles of clean, separate, cook and chill. These principles remain the same year after year to keep you and your guests healthy.
Foodborne illness affects an estimated 48 million people every year resulting in approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
Here are 9 quick Super Bowl food safety tips:
- CLEAN AND WASH YOUR HANDS-Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing Super Bowl snacks and meal items. This practice will help you and your family to avoid getting sick from germs/bacteria. CDC/Handwashing- https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html
- SEPARATE RAW AND COOKED FOODS-Make sure to separate raw foods (fresh vegetables or raw chicken wings) from cooked foods (grilled chicken wings). If you are serving an assortment of fresh, colorful vegetables with dip, always remember to use separate cutting boards when chopping the vegetables to prevent cross contamination. Do not use the same cutting board you previously used to prepare raw meat- to chop raw vegetables, without washing and sanitizing in between.
- COOK FOODS TO A SAFE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE-The only way for families and consumers, to kill bacteria is to cook raw meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and egg dishes to a safe minimum internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure food has reached the recommended temperatures, which will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present at your Super Bowl party. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/safe-minimum-internal-temperature-chart/ct_index
- DO NOT WASH RAW CHICKEN PRIOR TO COOKING-If you plan to serve homemade chicken wings or chicken cooked on the grill, remember it is not necessary to wash raw chicken before cooking it. The washing spreads microbes that can spread to other foods and surfaces. Food Safety Tip: Do Not Wash Raw Chicken – UF/IFAS Extension Broward County (ufl.edu)
- KEEP HOT FOODS HOT AND COLD FOODS COLD– Keep hot foods above 140 F and keep cold foods cold at 40 F or below. You can place containers holding cold pasta and other salads and dips in a bowl, tray or pan of ice to keep them cold. Keep food out of the danger zone to keep you and your guests safe from foodborne illness. Monitor the temperature of the foods you are serving throughout the big game. Keep food safe to eat.
- AVOID DOUBLE DIPPING PLEASE! Guacamole and salsa are two favorite dips paired with tortilla chips at Super Bowl events. Avoid double dipping! Double dipping occurs when one person dips a single chip into a dip more than once. Research has shown that double dipping can pose some food safety and health issues, as this habit of sporadic dipping, can transfer bacteria, from one person to another. This is a potential mouth- to- dip transfer of germs, we want to avoid. Consider the benefit of only one (1) dip per chip and teach young children to avoid double dipping too. Double dipping: the new challenge for health and safety (nih.gov)
“Only one dip, per chip please!”
- THE TWO-HOUR RULE-Do you know what the two-hour rule is? The two-hour rule is a standard food safety recommendation that is very easy to remember. Do not leave food sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours. After two hours, bacteria can begin to multiply if food is not held at the correct temperature for long periods of time. When two hours are up, place leftovers in shallow, covered containers and refrigerate them promptly. It can be easy to lose track of time, when the game gets exciting or you are distracted watching all the TV commercials, so jot down on a piece of note paper, the exact time that the food needs to go into the refrigerator.
- REHEAT LEFTOVERS TO THE PROPER TEMPERATURE-When you are ready to re-serve leftovers, make sure they reach 165 F during the reheating process, then serve them.
- WHEN IN DOUBT, TOSS IT OUT! If you cannot remember how long the pizza and/or the deviled eggs have been out on the counter, do not risk a foodborne illness. When you are not sure a food item is safe to eat, it probably is not.
Enjoy watching the Super Bowl, which is one of America’s favorite pastimes! Eat a variety of healthy food choices and remember to keep you and your guests free from a costly foodborne illness by following the four food safety principles: clean, separate, cook and chill, along with the food safety tips presented in this blog.
Good luck to the two football teams and do not forget to thank the chef/cook in your home, who has done all the menu planning and tasty food preparation!
To learn more:
UF/IFAS Extension, Food Safety- https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_food_safety
The Partnership for Food Safety Education/Fight Bac- https://www.fightbac.org/
CDC/Foodborne germs and illnesses- https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/foodborne-germs.html