Food News

Super Bowl Snack Safety Tips From the USDA

This Sunday evening, it's a safe bet to guess that the average American will be watching the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks. And with that viewing comes the inevitable snacking down on chicken wings, nachos, beer, and pizzas.

But did you realize that all that eating and drinking officially makes Super Bowl Sunday the second-largest food consumption day of the year in the U.S. (behind Thanksgiving)?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture USDA, that also means that Super Bowl Sunday is a hotbed for the spread of germs, food poisoning, salmonella, and other unwanted watch-party guests.

Luckily, the good folks at the USDA have shared some tips to avoid all that nasty stuff, or what they call a "food safety fumble." Here are some good takeaways to remember when preparing your watch-party spread.

See also: Ten Best Chicken Wings in Broward County

  • When making homemade chicken wings, make sure your frying oil temperature is 375 degrees -- hot enough to cook the meat thoroughly. Don't crowd the wings in the fryer. This can cause them to be undercooked.
  • To prevent splatter when frying, pat your food dry before submerging it in hot oil.
  • Make sure all hot food left out on your buffet table is kept at a minimum 140 degrees.
  • Alternately, cold foods should be kept on ice to remain at a safe temperature of 40 degrees or below.
  • Perishable foods left out longer than two hours should be discarded and replenished with fresh servings.
  • Before handling food, wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds to avoid spreading bacteria.
  • Never reuse paper towels. This product is for single use only. When used multiple times, bacteria can find their way onto the towel and hitch a ride around the kitchen.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss