Clean PlayWash your hands, but not those wings. According to the National Chicken Council, more than 1.3 billion chicken wings will be consumed this Super Bowl, but washing those wings is not recommended because bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can splash and spread to other foods, utensils and surfaces, contaminating them. Be sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap before cooking, but keep the wings dry.
Play DefenseDon’t cross contaminate. When you are shopping at the grocery store keep raw meat, poultry, eggs and seafood in separate plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. Always remember to use a separate cutting board for fresh fruits and vegetables and for raw meats.
Intercept BacteriaRaw meat, poultry, seafood and egg products need to be cooked to the right internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure foods have reached the correct temperature to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present. Chicken wings are safe to eat when they have reached an internal temperature of 165°F. Before indulging, take the temperature of multiple wings in the thickest part of the wing being careful to avoid the bone.
Cool PlayKeep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Keep food hot (at 140°F or above) in a slow cooker or chafing dish, or keep half of the food on the table and the other in the oven and swap it out every hour. Keep cold foods cold (at 40°F or below) by placing salads, dips and salsa in a tray of ice. When setting food out, be sure to serve cold foods in small portions.
Avoid the Danger ZoneDon’t leave food sitting out. Most bacteria grow rapidly at temperature between 40°F and 140°F. That temperature range is known as the “Danger Zone”. Refrigerate food promptly. Do not leave food at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Need more food safety information? Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (1-888-674-6854) Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, or email or chat at AskKaren.gov.