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Tips For Your Superbowl Party

Got a super bowl party this weekend? Be careful when preparing the food! Take precautions against bacteria. Those tables laden with food for hours — especially finger foods with large crowds — are prime breeding grounds for the bacteria that cause food borne illnesses. So, what can you do as a host or a guest to stay well? The USDA has some suggestions:

 Unclean hands are one of the biggest culprits for spreading bacteria, and finger foods at parties are especially vulnerable. Chefs and guests should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Also, be sure to clean eating surfaces often, and wash serving platters before replenishing them with fresh food.

The juices from raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that cross-contaminate other food. Use one cutting board for raw meat and poultry and another one for cutting veggies or foods that will not be cooked. If you use only one cutting board, wash it with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.

Use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked. Remember that internal temperature, not meat color, indicates doneness. Steaks should be cooked to 145 degrees F, ground beef should be cooked to 160 degrees F, and all poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F.

Never hold foods for more than two hours at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly to block offensive bacteria from multiplying. The same rules apply for cold foods. If cold food has been sitting out for more than two hours, do not eat it. When in doubt, throw it out of the game–and your party.

(Netscape)

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