Super Bowl safety
Keep food safety in mind during Super Bowl Sunday.
In many homes, including mine, Super Bowl Sunday ranks up there with Thanksgiving. It’s a day to get together with friends for food, fun, and of course, football! Planning may begin months before, with shopping and preparing food and decorations for the big day. I think the worst thing that could happen would be to have anyone get sick from food that I had prepared, so I keep aware of food safety concerns from the very beginning and you should too. Here are some tips for “Super Bowl safety” (and not the 2-point variety!):
- When shopping for foods for your recipe, keep them safe. If you will be using frozen foods, keep them frozen until they are ready for use. That means, take them home and place them in your freezer immediately. January is a cold month but if the food is left in your warm running car, thawing could begin. That can affect the quality of your purchase.
- Make sure your kitchen is clean and sanitized before making your goodies. Clean and then sanitize with a solution of bleach and water. Between prepping different foods, make sure any surfaces and utensils are clean and sanitized as well. This can prevent cross contamination of foods – the mixing of meat juices with ready to eat foods. A proper bleach solution is one teaspoon per quart of water or follow bottle recommendations.
- Cook hot foods to the required temperature to kill bacteria. Use a thermometer to check, as sight and feel is not a reliable indication of doneness. After cooking, either cool promptly or keep hot for serving.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. This seems very basic, but when the game is on and you’re watching the commercials during the breaks, you may forget to put food away. If foods are left out, they can enter the Temperature Danger Zone (TDZ), between 41 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit and harmful bacteria can begin to multiply. Keep your cold foods on ice and your hot dishes in slow cookers or roasters. Keep your foods covered as well, to help keep the foods at the correct temperatures.
- Take care of leftover foods quickly. Nothing should be left at room temperature for more than two hours, as your room temperature is in the TDZ. Place leftovers into food-grade containers and refrigerate. Hot foods should be placed in shallow containers so they can cool quickly. Make sure to label and date each item and use or freeze within three days.
If you follow these simple steps, you should have a great Super Bowl. Anytime you can get together with friends and family with food and fun, without the worry of foodborne illness, is a great day!