Food Poisoning Is Super Common on Super Bowl Sunday ⁠— Here's How to Stay Safe

Keep your guests safe so you can all enjoy Rihanna.

Party food table spread

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The Super Bowl is near, which means one thing: Sauced-up wings, creamy dips, cheesy-piled-high nachos, and desserts are in our future. Oh yeah, and there's a game on too. And while many game-day partygoers just need to show up, sit back, and relax, for Super Bowl hosts, the stakes are higher.

"No matter who you're rooting for, foodborne illness is a dangerous opponent we face during the game," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack shared in a press release. Don't worry. Vilsack didn't leave us hanging on how to fight food poisoning. To help you control any unnecessary outbreaks after Rihanna's half-time performance, the USDA shared a few easy-to-follow tips. 

Clean like you’ve never cleaned before

Treat game day as if you are head-first in restaurant service, which means washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, according to the FDA, before and after dealing with food, visiting the bathroom, or really just about doing anything. This goes without saying; rinse all fruits and vegetables. And continuously clean surfaces and cutting boards. It can be hazardous to go from chopping raw chicken to fresh carrots on the same board.

Use a food thermometer on multiple wings, not just one

There is nothing worse than an undercooked wing, so to avoid being that host, consider investing in a meat thermometer. For wings specifically, don't rely on checking the temperature of one wing. Test multiple. It also helps to get refreshed on safe minimum internal temperatures to avoid harmful bacteria. 

Keep ingredients separate  

Avoiding cross-contamination when preparing for the Super Bowl starts at the grocery store. Keep raw meats away from fresh produce in your cart. The last thing you want is steak juice dripping all over the grapes meant for the charcuterie board. This continues at home, too, as it's essential to keep ingredients separated while in the fridge. There are even more minor nuances, like how raw flour, when in contact with other foods, can cause sickness, so when in doubt, just keep all foods in their own arenas.

Properly store takeout and prepped dishes

Ordering out for the Super Bowl is an incredible hack to save time, but food safety is still a priority. When serving previously prepared dishes, follow these two steps. If the bites aren't served within a period, separate it into smaller containers and refrigerate it until ready to warm up. When reheating any grub, ensure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F. 

Keep your home buffet monitored 

The Super Bowl holds the title for the game day with the most foodborne illnesses because fans typically snack on munchies that have been sitting out for hours. One tip the FDA shares is to keep portions small on the buffet and replenish throughout the event to preserve food, especially cooked meats, from sitting out and breeding bacteria.

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