Medical Moment: Tips for healthier Super Bowl snacking

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 5:56 PM EST
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(WNDU) - We’re just two days away from Super Bowl 57!

If you’re watching for the teams, or just the commercials, you’ll probably do a lot of eating! But don’t get sidelined by all that football food.

“One in six Americans every year gets a foodborne illness,” explained Sandra Eskin, with the Office of Food Safety.

Healthy people who get food poisoning may have a couple of days of digestive discomfort. But for seniors, children, and those with suppressed immune system these illnesses can be serious.

You can protect yourself and others by following four steps:

  • Clean - Wash your hands and surfaces where food is being prepared and served.
  • Separate - Avoid cross-contamination in the cooking process.
  • Cook thoroughly - lists safe minimum temperatures, which vary based on the food you’re cooking.
  • Don’t leave out - Don’t leave food out at room temperature for more than two hours!

“By using knives, cutting boards, other utensils with different type of food, particularly raw versus cooked,” Eskin said on the separation of food. “A thermometer is the only way to know if the particular food product has been thoroughly cooked. If it needs to be cold, put it in a bed of ice, or keep it in the fridge and bring it out on occasion. If it’s hot, keep it hot. On a stove, burner, or a hotplate.”

Experts say it’s best to divide leftovers into smaller portions before you refrigerate and freeze to make sure the food is chilled throughout.

Food safety experts are also reminding Superbowl partiers that takeout is not exempt from safety rules. Never leave anything out at room temperature for more than two hours. That keeps it from growing some bacteria.