The Super Bowl is upon us, and with this year’s 50th game, this will certainly take the experience to a whole new level.

We know the Super Bowl is the most-watched television program in the United States and this year will be no different. The game (or the ads) may be the main event, but the food usually steals the show.

With more than 1.3 billion chicken wings and 4 million pizzas expected to be eaten during the big game, there are plenty of opportunities for a food safety penalty to occur.

“This Super Bowl Sunday, sports fans across the U.S. will have a great time watching the game with friends and family, while sharing some of our favorite foods that we are fortunate in this county to enjoy,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. “A long game and a big crowd means more opportunities for food poisoning, but some easy precautions can go far in preventing illness.”

To keep you and your guest’s food safe this Super Bowl, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has pulled together the following key food safety plays.

• To escape a delay of game, use effective clock management with your food. Perishable foods should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours. Switch out these items during half time to prevent the same foods from sitting out the entire game.

• Avoid a holding call by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. Food should remain at a safe temperature and out of the “Danger Zoe.” The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F where bacterial multiply rapidly.

• Avoid a false start by using a food thermometer to ensure that meat and poultry are cooked to a safe internal temperature.

• Raw beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to 145 degrees F with a three minute rest time.

• Raw ground beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to 160 degrees F.

• All cuts of poultry should reach at least 165 degrees F.

• Many cooks think they can finish their cooking play in the kitchen by checking the color and texture of meat or poultry. The ONLY way to safely know if cooking is over and food is ready to eat is by using a food thermometer.

• Prevent an illegal use of the hands by making sure to thoroughly wash your hands before preparing food, after handling any raw meat or poultry and trash, and after finishing cooking. Thoroughly wash hands by using hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds. “Splashing and dashing” with water does NOT count!

Don’t let foodborne illness intercept your plans for the biggest Super Bowl ever celebrated. With these tips you can keep you and your family safe.

 

Rita Hodges is the Ellis County Extension Agent-Family & Consumer Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Visit Rita at the Extension Office located at 701 S. I-35 E, Waxahachie, TX 75165; phone at 972-825-5175; or email at rmhodges@ag.tamu.edu. Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners