With the Super Bowl coming up Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers safety tips for your party. Cathy Isom has the story.
When it comes to offering all of your party favorites for guests coming to your Super Bowl party this year, the USDA recommends that you wash your hands, not your chicken. And, close the buffet after two hours. For those who want the food to be available longer than two hours, experts recommend setting out smaller portions and leaving the rest in the refrigerator or oven until needed. Food experts also want to remind Super Bowl party hosts to use good hygiene and avoid cross-contaminating raw meats with other foods. The keys to avoiding illnesses are frequent hand washing, keeping foods at recommended temperatures, and keeping raw meats separate from other foods. Proper hand washing requires several basic steps: Wet your hands with running water; lather them with soap for a full 20 seconds; then rinse and dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
Officials warned against washing poultry products or meats prior to cooking. USDA researchers found that doing so could increase the spread of germs and not kill bacteria. To fully kill bacteria, officials recommend cooking whole cuts of meat until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit with a three-minute rest time.
USDA officials also said raw foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and seafood, should be kept in separate plastic bags and cut on separate boards to avoid cross-contamination of juices. Questions about food safety can be directed to the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline.