Tailgate? Not with any unwanted guests, like food bacteria

Super Bowl Sunday is just days away. As the festivities begin and we make plans to party or tailgate together (safely, with social distancing and masks), keep one key precaution in mind: safety from foodborne illness.

Dips and chips, chicken wings and potato salads all are delicious staples of many a Super Bowl gathering. People line up to dig in. But, these foods sometimes bring uninvited guests to a party: illness-causing food pathogens.

An individual holds his hands over his stomach, indicating pain, with food on a nearby counter. [CREDIT: pixabay.comKeep your celebration food safe, with the four core food safety practices: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.


Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water, and try using paper towels to dry your hands, especially if you are outdoors. Wash cutting boards and all food preparation items with hot soapy water before use, as well as when switching food items for preparation. Wash fruits and vegetables before cutting them. For more information, download the Clean fact sheet from FightBac.org for more information.


Cross-contamination is how bacteria spreads from one place to another. To avoid this, never share a cutting board used for raw meats to then cut fruits and vegetables, without properly washing/sanitizing the board. Never place cooked food on a plate that previously had raw meat on it, unless the platter has been cleaned and sanitized. Download the Separate fact sheet for more helpful tips.


Always use a food thermometer to make certain food is cooked thoroughly. It is important for food to reach a temperature that is high enough to kill harmful bacteria. FightBac.org has two fact sheets to help: the Cook fact sheet and a safe minimum temperature chart.


Refrigerate foods quickly. Don’t let food sit out for more than an hour. If you are outside and your celebration is indoors, you have two hours to get foods into the refrigerator. Make sure your refrigerator is between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. And don’t overstuff your refrigerator, since cold air needs to circulate around your foods to keep them chilled.. Again, FightBac.org offers two great resources to help: the Chill fact sheet and a storage time chart.

Super Bowl Sunday has grown into a holiday-like celebration, with many sharing the day with friends and family. Make sure you follow the four cores to food safety, and keep your party closed to unwanted guests like bacteria.


Posted: February 7, 2022

Category: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, Work & Life
Tags: Bacteria, Food, Food Safety, Foodborne Illness, Pathogen, Pgm_FCS

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