What’s More Sickening Than Another Patriots Win? Foodborne Illness at Your Super Bowl Party!
This Sunday's Super Bowl is expected to exceed 100 million viewers who, by some estimates, will eat over a BILLION chicken wings during game-day parties.
With that in mind, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging fans to avoid becoming one of the 48 million Americans who gets sick from foodborne illnesses each year.
Here is a list of things to watch out for as well as other tips to keep fellow party-goers from blowing chunks on you pennant:
Keep foods OUT of the temperature range between 40 °F and 140 °F.
When food is left in the “Danger Zone,” bacteria multiplies rapidly, causing a single bacterium to multiply to 17 million in 12 hours! Avoid serving Super Bowl favorites, such as pizza and chicken wings, at room temperature for the entire game.
When serving food or ordering takeout food, use the following game plan:
- If warm takeout foods are to be served immediately, keep them at 140 °F or above by placing in chafing dishes, preheated warming trays or slow cookers.
- If take-out foods will not be served immediately, either keep them warm in a preheated oven, or divide the food into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers, and refrigerate. At serving time, reheat to 165 °F.
- Cold foods that are served should be kept at 40 °F or below, which can be done by nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice. Avoid storing food outside, where the sun can quickly warm foods in plastic storage containers and animals can get into.
- Start a game day tradition by using a food thermometer to ensure foods being served to guests are not in the “Danger Zone.”To ensure home prepared chicken wings are safe, follow these tips:
- Do not wash raw chicken wings. Sixty-seven percent of respondents in a 2016 FDA food safety survey indicated they washed raw chicken parts; however washing will not destroy pathogens and may increase the risk of contaminating other foods and surfaces.
- Ensure chicken wings are safe to eat by verifying they have reached an internal temperature of 165 °F. Take the temperature of multiple wings in the thickest part of the wing being careful to avoid the bone.If you need food safety coaching, call your personal coaches at the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov, available from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish. Learn more about key food safety practices at foodsafety.gov and on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety.