The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging consumers to use safe food handling practices during the Super Bowl.
At these parties, foods should be kept out of the “danger zone,” which is the temperature range between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 F. When foods are left in the “danger zone,” bacteria can multiply. Avoid serving pizza and chicken wings at room temperature throughout the game.
When serving food or ordering takeout food, use the following game plan:
— If warm takeout foods are to be served immediately, keep them at 140 F or above by placing in chafing dishes, preheated warming trays or slow cookers.
— If take-out foods will not be served immediately, either keep them warm in a preheated oven, or divide the food into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers and refrigerate. At serving time, reheat to 165 F.
— Cold foods that are served should be kept at 40 F or below, which can be done by nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice. Avoid storing food outside, where the sun can warm foods in plastic storage containers and animals can get into.
— Start a game day tradition by using a food thermometer to ensure foods being served to guests are not in the “danger zone.”
To ensure home prepared chicken wings are safe, follow these tips:
— Do not wash raw chicken wings. Sixty-seven percent of respondents in a 2016 FDA food safety survey indicated they washed raw chicken parts; however washing will not destroy pathogens and may increase the risk of contaminating other foods and surfaces.
— Ensure chicken wings are safe to eat by verifying they have reached an internal temperature of 165 F. Take the temperature of multiple wings in the thickest part of the wing being careful to avoid the bone.
For information call 888-888-674-6854 or visit askkaren.gov.