Expert offers food safety tips for Sunday’s game

(WPRI) — Whether you’re hosting a party on Sunday or attending one, it’s critical to make sure the food is safe for consumption.

Most people can agree they’ve been to a party where the food is sitting out way too long: the hot food isn’t hot anymore and the cold food is no longer cold.

According to the USDA, 40 percent of people admit they never use a food thermometer while cooking, which the organization says is a recipe for food-borne illnesses.

The National Chicken Council says on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will eat more than 1.3 billion chicken wings. But don’t wash the poultry, since that can cause the spread of bacteria in your kitchen sink and counters.

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When cooking the wings, “make sure they all register 165 degrees,” says Tonya Brown with the USDA. “If they don’t, pop them back in the oven or however you’re cooking them and then check them in a few more minutes.”

Brown adds the importance of “using a food thermometer just allows you to know for sure that your food is safe for you and your guests to eat and that they wont go home sick.”

Brown also had some advice for keeping cold foods cold, throughout the entire game.

“Don’t leave those leftovers all over the counter top or on the table for people to graze,” says Brown. “Make sure you get them into the refrigerator within two hours. You can rest them in a pan or a bed of ice to keep them cold, or you can keep them in the refrigerator and swap them out around halftime.”

Finally, make sure to take steps to avoid cross contamination. The USDA suggests using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw poultry meats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

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