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College of Human Ecology

Keep Food Safe at Super Bowl Party USDA Lists Football Fan's Guide to Food Safety

Monday, January 30, 2006

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The amount of food consumed on Super Bowl Sunday ranks second only to the amount of food consumed on Thanksgiving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Eating your way through the game does, however, pose food safety risks.

One concern, for example, is that Super Bowl parties typically last several hours, yet perishable foods - both hot and cold - left out for more than two hours can invite bacterial growth and cause foodborne illness.

To be safe, perishable foods served without a heating source such as a slow cooker or chafing dish should be discarded after sitting out for two hours. The same time limit applies to chilled foods. To keep cold foods cold, nest bowls or serving dishes in ice.

To increase awareness about food safety on Super Bowl Sunday, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service offers a Football Fan's Guide to Food Safety:

* Personal foul: Penalty occurs when hosts jeopardize the health of family and friends by failing to follow basic food safety rules:

1. Clean - wash hands and surfaces often.

2. Separate - don't cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat and poultry apart from cooked foods.

3. Cook - use a food thermometer to ensure meat and poultry are cooked to safe-to-eat temperatures.

4. Chill - refrigerate or freeze promptly.

No game is complete without a few penalties. The USDA's Football Fan's Guide cites these:

* Illegal Use of Hands: Penalty denotes failure to wash hands before and after preparing food. Wash hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

* False start: Penalty is called when partially or undercooked food is served. Use a food thermometer to check cooked temperatures. Cook fresh roast beef, veal and lamb to at least 145 degrees F for medium rare and 160 degrees F for medium doneness. Roast whole poultry to 180 degrees F and poultry breasts to 170 degrees F. Ground turkey and poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F, and all other meats, fish, and ground beef should be cooked to 160 degrees F. For casseroles, an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is recommended.

* Chop Block: Penalty occurs when foods that will be served raw are cut on the same cutting board used for raw meats.

For more information on food safety, check the USDA's food safety Web site: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education or Kansas State University Research and Extension county or district offices or Extension's food safety Web site: www.oznet.ksu.edu/foodsafety.

Source: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and K-State Research and Extension.

This article was posted on Monday, January 30, 2006, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.