December 18, 2017

USDA Offers Safety Tips for Super Bowl Parties

If you’re throwing (or attending) a Super Bowl Party on Sunday, the USDA wants you to know some tips about food safety. Super Bowl Sunday is the second highest day of food consumption in the United States. Only Thanksgiving sees more eating!

Super Bowl Party FunTo ensure that your party is a hit and that your guests stay safe and happy, remember the four rules for food safety at home.

Clean

Make sure you always wash your hands with soap and water, before, during, and after working with food. If you’re serving dips and finger foods, it’s important that your guests wash their hands too! To make sure hands are thoroughly clean, sing “Happy Birthday to You” twice. That should take about 20 seconds, which is the minimum recommended hand-washing time. You can also provide anti-bacterial wipes for your guests. And try to discourage double-dipping!

Clean surfaces often, especially after you’ve prepared raw meats and raw eggs. Always wash serving platters before you add fresh food. And never put cooked meat products on a plate or platter that held raw meat.

Separate

Always keep raw meats and raw eggs away from ready-to-eat foods such as carrot sticks and snack mixes. It’s very easy for raw meat juices to cross-contaminate utensils, your hands, the kitchen faucet, countertops, and cutting boards. Think about using one cutting board for raw meats and eggs and another for foods that aren’t cooked. If you only have one cutting board, wash it (for 20 seconds) with hot soapy water after each recipe is prepared.

Cook

A food thermometer is always a good thing to have on hand. Internal temperature is the only reliable method of judging doneness for meats and eggs. Cook steaks to 145 degrees F. Ground beef should be cooked to 160 degrees F. Poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F. Cook eggs to 160 degrees F. And remember that color is not a reliable doneness indicator.

Chill

Always discard perishable foods (any food containing meat, poultry, fish, pork, game, eggs, cheese, or milk products) after it’s been sitting out at room temperature for two hours. That means if you put out your famous Onion Dip at 1:00 pm, it needs to be discarded by 3:00 pm.

You can easily solve this dilemma by making several batches of perishable foods, or dividing them into smaller batches. Regularly discard the food after two hours and replace the foods with a fresh batch as your party progresses.

And think about placing dips in bowls of ice to keep them even safer, or use a crockpot (turned to “keep warm” or “low”) or chafing dish to keep hot foods hot. (Just remember that crockpots shouldn’t be use to reheat leftovers.)

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