Super Bowl Sunday is coming up and you may be planning a party with friends and family. These parties often involve finger foods, communal dishes, and treats that are left out for long periods of time—which can lead to foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning). Don’t let foodborne illness ruin the fun. Check out these tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and learn how you can keep your food safe.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.
- Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your shopping cart, grocery bags, and refrigerator.
- Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs unless the plate has been washed in hot, soapy water.
- Don’t reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.
- If baking, make sure that no raw flour is on surfaces that contact other foods.
- Use a food thermometer to ensure the safety of meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products. These foods must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria.
- When cooking in a microwave oven, cover food, stir, and rotate for even cooking. If there is no turntable, rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking. Always allow standing time, which completes the cooking, before checking the internal temperature with a food thermometer.
- Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within 2 hours of cooking or purchasing. Refrigerate within 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90° F.
- Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.
- Keep cold foods chilled to 40 °F or below and hot foods heated to 140 °F or above.
- If you’re planning a buffet and aren’t sure how quickly the food will be eaten, keep serving portions small. Prepare a number of small platters and dishes ahead of time and replace the serving dishes with the fresh ones throughout the party.
- Don’t add new food to an already filled serving dish. Instead, replace nearly empty serving dishes with freshly filled ones.
- Watch the clock with leftovers. Whether you’re sending “doggie bags” home with guests or are saving them for yourself, leftovers should be refrigerated as soon as guests arrive home and/or within 2 hours!