A food safety playbook for the Super Bowl


A food safety playbook for the Super Bowl

Wellness fresh and hot pizza and wings combo for dinner time

fresh and hot pizza and wings combo for dinner time

Even if the game turns out to be a clunker, Super Bowl Sunday is always good for one thing: food. An estimated 188.5 million people will tune in to watch the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, according to the National Retail Federation. Nearly 80 percent of the $14.1 billion spent by consumers on the game will go toward food and drink. With all the game-day distractions, it’s easy to overlook the importance of food safety, said Crystal Cates, Tidelands Health clinical nutrition manager. Here are a few simple tips to help ensure the game is memorable for all the right reasons:

  • Most foodborne bacteria grow in the temperature “danger zone” between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. Keep hot food above 140 degrees during your get-together by using a warming tray or crock pot. Salsa, dips, guacamole and other foods can be kept cold by placing them in a small serving bowl placed inside a larger, ice-filled dish.
  • Avoid cross contamination by preparing and storing ready-to-eat foods, such as fruit and vegetables, separately from foods meant to be cooked.
  • Use a different plate to transport food to and from the grill or, if you are using only one plate, wash it between trips.
  • Always use a food thermometer to test that meat and poultry are cooked to the proper temperature. Check out this chart as a guide.
  • Food left at room temperature should be discarded after two hours. Halftime is a great opportunity to consider refreshing your food offerings. Store leftover food in small dishes in the refrigerator and eat within a few days (or freeze it).
  • If you’re traveling with food, use an insulated dish to help maintain proper temperature while in transit.
  • Make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water before preparing food.
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