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Big Game Safety

When you think about “football” and “safety,” chances are you picture a hard-hitting defensive back whose job is to keep the other team from completing long pass plays downfield. But when it comes to celebrating the big game with snack treats, Haley Oliver, associate professor of food science, urges fans to consider another kind of safety – food safety.

“Some things to think about as you’re preparing for the big game: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold,” Oliver says.

Hot food should remain at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while cold food is safe at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dips are popular fare for football parties because they are relatively easy to transport and can be prepared for a variety of different tastes. But Oliver says dips should be refrigerated and not left out on the counter for more than two hours. She recommends keeping dips cold in a bowl filled with ice to ensure the temperature remains below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If chicken wings are on the game day menu, it is important to cook the wings to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. These hot foods should be kept at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit until served and remain safe on the counter for less than one hour.

These simple rules, Oliver says, are the best way to prevent football party guests from ending up on the disabled list with a foodborne illness.

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