USDA releases its “playbook” for safe food practices on Super Bowl Sunday

Jan 26, 2015

New England Patriots take on Seattle Seahawks February 1st in Arizona

By Diego Flammini,

This Sunday, February 1st, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will battle for one of the hardest trophies to win in all of professional sports, the Vince Lombardi trophy, as they take to the gridiron in Super Bowl XLIX (49) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona.

Across the United States and most of North America, millions of people will be tuned in at their local pubs to watch the big game and millions more will decide to stay home and host their own Super Bowl festivities.

For those choosing to keep the party on their home field, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) released some “plays” to ensure the food and eating/cooking environments on Super Bowl Sunday (the second largest food consumption day other than Thanksgiving) is safe.

Chicken wing “Hail Mary”:

  • Oil should be at 375°F before starting to fry
  • Pat chicken wings dry to reduce splatter when submerging them in oil
  • Do not overcrowd the wings as it could cause some to be undercooked
  • Use food thermometer to check internal temperature; 165°F is the minimum safe internal temperature
  • If wings are under 165°F, re-submerge them to finish cooking

Buffet “Blitz”:

  • Keep the foods as their intended to be eaten (hot or cold)
  • Hot foods must be kept warmer than 140°F
  • Cold foods should be kept on ice, or lower than 40°F
  • Perishable foods should not be left out for longer than two hours.

Kitchen Towel “Trap Run”:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent spreading bacteria
  • Do not reuse paper towels
  • Wash kitchen towels after multiple uses in the hot cycle of washing machine

When it comes to stacking up against one another on the field, only Sunday will determine the winner.

As far as agriculture connections to the Superbowl is concerned, the top commodity in Massachusetts (where the home field of the New England Patriots is located) in 2013 was cranberries at a value of more than $57 million.

Washington’s top commodity for 2013 was apples at a value of more than $2 billion.

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