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K-State Today

February 1, 2012

Make Super Bowl party a winner

Submitted by Nancy Peterson

U.S. Department of Agriculture consumer food specialists report the quantity of food consumed on Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving.

And while food safety information is plentiful during the holiday season, bowl parties can create additional food safety risks, said Karen Blakeslee, K-State Research and Extension food scientist.

“Football games last for several hours, making it more difficult for hosts to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold,” Blakeslee said.

“The danger zone, in which food-borne bacteria can multiply, is 40 to 140 degrees F,” she said.

If perishable food sits out for more than two hours, it should be discarded, said Blakeslee, who recommended replenishing perishable foods periodically to reduce food safety risks.

Use a food thermometer to check the recommended minimal internal cooked temperature for steaks, 145 degrees F; ground beef, 160 degrees F; and poultry, 165 degrees F. Hot dogs and brats should be piping hot.

Bowl-day food safety recommendations include:

  • Wash hands before and after handling raw or cooked food, and before and after eating, petting the dog, or tossing the ball around during breaks in the game.
  • Avoid cross contamination; keep raw meats, poultry and fish away from cooked foods.
  • Provide serving utensils for each food item, and individual plates and bowls for guests to minimize the need to reach into a larger serving bowl -- and spread a cold or the flu.
  • Cover and refrigerate leftovers promptly.

Fans will have high calorie- and fat-favorites, said Blakeslee, who encouraged offering fruit and vegetable trays with low-fat dips, yogurt or cheeses, and whole grain breads and crackers.  

More information on food, food safety, health, menus, grocery shopping and kitchen how-tos is available at K-State Research and Extension offices and online: www.ksre.ksu.edu/humannutrition/ and www.rrc.ksu.edu.