Script: Food Safety at the Super Bowl Party
Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety at home
podcast series. These podcasts were designed with you in mind - the consumer - who
purchases and prepares meat, poultry and processed egg products
for your family and friends.
Each episode will bring you a different food safety topic ranging from safe storage, handling,
and preparation of meat, poultry and processed egg products to the importance of keeping
foods safe during a power outage.
So sit back, turn up the volume and listen in.
Welcome to “Food Safety at Home.” This is Sheila Johnson with the Food Safety and Inspection
Service. I’m your host for this segment. My co-host today is Sharon Randle.
Joining us is Kathy Bernard, from the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline. Kathy will provide
us with some practical food safety guidelines to help Super Bowl partygoers and hosts
avoid committing their own food safety “personal fouls.”
Hello, Kathy. Welcome to the show.
Thank you. Hello to you both. I’m pleased to be here.
You know, Kathy, during football season, millions of Americans spend their weekend afternoons
at home with friends and family cheering on their favorite team. And where there are people,
you’re sure to find food. So preparing and keeping food safe is key to protecting your
guests from foodborne illness.
That’s right, Sheila. Foodborne illnesses can be devastating, but the good news is just
a few simple precautions can keep food safe.
Kathy, football has a two-minute warning. What’s the warning for food safety?
Call it the two-hour rule, because leaving perishable food at room temperature more than
two hours is a big, big mistake.
But sports parties sometimes go on all afternoon and evening and food often lingers at
room temperature. Kathy, doesn't that allow bacteria to grow?
Yes. When food sits out for more than two hours, bacteria can easily multiply and cause
foodborne illness. In severe cases, the illness can lead to hospitalization and even death.
That’s serious, Kathy. So what can we do to keep people from getting sick?
Think of it this way. When you’re hosting or preparing food for a Super Bowl party, you’re
the head coach and you call the plays. You can ensure your guests won't end up on the
injured reserve by following USDA’s basic food safety messages.
It means avoiding kitchen penalties. Just like in football, the food safety game has penalties
- like the illegal use of hands.
This penalty happens when people prepare or handle food without washing their hands. The
important food safety message here is clean. Always wash your hands with soap and warm
water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. And don't forget to wash surfaces
often with hot soapy water.
And I’ve got the next food safety message—separate. The idea here is to avoid encroachment
and keep your food from ending up offsides.
That’s true. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from cooked foods. It’s a kitchen penalty
if you cut raw veggies on the same cutting board that was used to cut chicken and other
raw meats. The juices from raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that will contaminate
the other foods.
Consider using two cutting boards: one for raw meat and poultry and one for veggies. But
if you use only one cutting board, wash it with hot soapy water after separately preparing
Cook is the next food safety message. Use a food thermometer to make sure your foods are
safe and you’ll avoid another kitchen penalty.
You'll score when you use a food thermometer to ensure your food is safely cooked. Meat
and poultry, including chicken wings, sausages and hamburgers, should be cooked to a safe
minimum internal temperature to kill bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.
That keeps your food safe. Or, as they say in football, out of the red zone.
Remember, color isn’t a reliable indicator that food is cooked. A food thermometer is
the only sure way to know when meat and poultry are safely cooked.
Kathy, what are some examples of safe minimum internal temperatures?
Cook steaks to a safe minimum internal temperature of 145 °F, ground beef to 160 °F and
all poultry to 165 °F. Protect your party team from the danger zone by not leaving food
sit out for more than two hours at temperatures between 40 and 140 °F.
Folks, I’ve got the last food safety message - chill.
You bet. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly. This will block bacteria from multiplying
and running up the score.
And for cold foods, simply keep them cold. The same two-hour danger zone rule applies.
If your cold food has been sitting out for more than two hours at temperatures between
40 and 140 °F, don’t eat it. Don’t even give it to your pet!
So what’s the right call to keep a Super Bowl party safe?
In football, referees have instant replay to ensure that they’ve made the right calls.
They can see a play again and again. USDA offers a great resource—“Ask Karen.” “Ask Karen”
is a feature that also allows you to ask food safety-related questions 24 hours a day.
So if you have questions, you may visit “Ask Karen” at
AskKaren.gov or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
at 1-888-MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854. Consumers can also visit the FSIS Web site
That’s it for this week. Our guest for today was Kathy Bernard from the USDA Meat and
Thank you for joining us for this episode of “Food Safety at Home.” And remember, “Be
Well, that’s all for this time. Thanks for joining us today for another episode of
food safety at home!
For answers to your food safety questions call USDA's toll-free meat and poultry hotline
at 1-888-mphotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.
You can also get answers to food safety questions online from our virtual representative
"ask karen" at www.askkaren.govv .
Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your comments to
Thanks for tuning in.