Bivins: Celebrate Super Bowl with these safety tips

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day of the year for food consumption.  Super Bowl parties feature food, fun, and more food – lots of finger foods, dips, beverages casseroles, and other snacks.

Food-borne illnesses, better known as food poisoning affects one is six Americans each year.  According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, 128, 000 Americans are hospitalized and 3,000 deaths occur each year from food-borne illnesses, so this year, kick off you Game Day party the food-safe way.

When planning those finger foods, dips, and casseroles, score some extra points by practicing the Four Basic Food Preparation Safety Rules:

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Clean – The first rule is to keep everything that comes in contact with the food clean.  Wash hands with warm water and soap before handling food and disinfect all food contact surfaces, such as dishes, cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.

Separate – The second rule is to not provide bacteria with an ideal environment to spread.  Cross-contamination is the spread of bacteria from one food item to another.  Keep raw foods separated from cooked food items.   Store uncooked meats on the lower shelves of the refrigerator to prevent dripping and cross-contamination.

Cook – Cook foods to proper temperature to be certain the food reaches an internal temperature high enough to destroy bacteria.  Use a food a thermometer to make sure meat, poultry and fish are cooked to the correct temperature for that food.

Chill – When transporting food, the “rule is to keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold”.  Never defrost foods on the counter at room temperature.  Always allow sufficient time to thaw food in the refrigerator.  Perishable foods should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.  Rotate food in and out of the refrigerator. Or use ice to avoid any dish being left out too long.  Refrigerate leftovers immediately after the game.   

Remember, all foods are perishable and can cause food-borne illness when not handled properly.  Game Day is a great opportunity for family and friends to get together for parties and enjoy seasonal foods.

Play smart on Super Bowl Sunday, don’t let bacteria crash your party!  Remember to follow these rules, have fun and enjoy the day!  Source: Facets: January/February 2019