Americans eat more food on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year except Thanksgiving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With that being said, the CDC devoted a section of their website to ensuring anyone preparing food for a party on Sunday handles everything properly and appropriately.
To make sure food is properly handled, anyone making food should wash their hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds; cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops should be washed with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item; and vegetables and fruits should be scrubbed under running water.
Make sure cutting boards, plates and utensils used to cut food is separated so germs do not spread from one food to another.
Anyone about to eat should also wash their hands prior to eating to ensure no germs get into their system.
If cooking meat or microwave dishes, use a food thermometer to make sure they’re cooked to the proper temperature to rid the food of harmful germs. Chicken wings, for example, should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. Ground beef should reach 160 degrees.
For anyone preparing food in advance, cooked food should be divided into shallow containers and should be stored in a refrigerator or freezer until the party begins.
Hot food should be kept at around 140 degrees or warmer. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays to keep food hot.
Cold food, such as salsa and guacamole, should be kept at 40 degrees or colder. Use small service trays or put serving dishes in bowls of ice.
Hot and cold food protocol applies to takeout and delivery food as well.
Large pots of food — like soups, stews or large cuts of meat — should be divided into small quantities for refrigeration to allow them to cool quickly and to minimize time the food spends in the “danger zone” between 40 degrees and 140 degrees.
If microwaving food, ensure there are no cold spots; areas that are not completely cooked can harbor germs. Always follow standing time directions for the extra few minutes food should rest following cooking to ensure the cooking is complete.
While keeping an eye on the score, keep an eye on the food left out. Any perishable foods that have been out at room temperature for two hours or more should be thrown away.
When it comes to chips and dip, make sure partygoers have their own plates to eat off of and serving utensils to discourage them from eating directly from the bowls.
Leftovers can be stored in smaller portions or pieces in shallow containers. The containers should put in the freezer or refrigerator. This should happen within two hours of food preparation. Putting hot food directly into the refrigerator is OK, the CDC said.
Any leftovers that will be eaten in the next few days can be refrigerated. Anything you don’t anticipate eating within four days should be put in the freezer.
All leftovers should be reheated to at least 165 degrees before they’re served — including leftovers warmed up in the microwave.