Super bowl Party Food and Safety Tips

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SUPER BOWL FOOD AND PARTY SAFETY TIPS

This next weekend millions of Americans mark Super Bowl Sunday with friends and family, making it the second highest day of food consumption in the United States after Thanksgiving, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is offering some practical food safety tips to help prevent food borne illnesses. With the high flu and strep throat this season being prepared for a super bowl party is a must. Be at true Super bowl fan or Safety person by making this super bowl weekend a safety one for you, family, friends and co-workers.

Be wary of any foodshot or coldthat have been left out for more than two hoursthe so called “Danger Zone,” or when food is between 40°F and 140°F. Perishable foods that are not served with a heating source (chafing dishes or slow cookers) or chilling source (nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice) should be discarded after remaining at room temperature for two hours.

Referee your Super Bowl Party Safety Game Plan,

Use your top plays to keep your celebration safe. When it comes to the Super Bowl, defense matters. When it comes to planning a Super Bowl party, a good defense against food borne illness matters even more.

There are no instant replays when it comes to hosting a party or playing safe on Super Bowl Sunday. Statistics show that the average household will bring 17 people together on the day of the game, making it one of the most-watched, most highly celebrated events of the year. Have a good Safety Game Plan even before your guest arrives. It is the safety playbook you use that can make your Super bowl a winner.

Remember if you have kids around, Adjust the lineup.Make your home game day ready for children. If youre rearranging furniture for the party dont block exits with large items in case of an emergency. Pathways should be clear of small toys, throw rugs, electrical cords and other items that could cause a trip or fall

A FOOTBALL FAN’S GUIDE TO FOOD SAFETY
Here are some tips to help you score a “touchdown” with your Super Bowl party:

Personal Foul
In food safety, this penalty occurs when the health of your guests is placed in jeopardy because you fail to follow one or more of USDA’s basic food safety messages. The following tips will help keep friends and family safe from food borne illness:

  • Clean – Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate – Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat and poultry apart from cooked foods.
  • Cook – Use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked.
  • Chill – Refrigerate or freeze promptly.

Illegal Use of Hands
In food safety, this occurs when Super Bowl party goers do not wash their hands before preparing or eating food. Unclean hands are one of the biggest culprits for spreading bacteria. Washing hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds will reduce the risk of food borne illness. Use of a hand sanitizer is good and recommended as well.

Blow the whistle on TV Tip-Overs

Dont let an unexpected touchdown dance knock over the TV. Overly excited fans are a given on Super Bowl Sunday. Make sure your TV and entertainment center are safely mounted. Verify that furniture is stable on its own. For added security, anchor to the floor or attach all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving and bureaus to the wall using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws or toggles.

· Place the TV on sturdy furniture appropriate for its size or on a low-rise base.

· Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand.

· Place electrical cords out of a childs reach and teach them not to play with the cords.

· Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, like toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.

Choking the game winning field goal

Choking on party foods is serious. With such snacks as nuts, hot dogs, popcorn or chips this can be a real possibility. Everyone is excited and jumps up or goes to cheer during a big play and next thing you know they are unable to breath and choking on a food item. Watch your guest and make sure you team doesnt choke during this big game. Do you know how to help them with abdominal thrust and back blows to dislodge the object? Do you want to learn more, join in my next CPR and First Aid class.

2 Minute Warning= 2 Hour Rule

While football has the ‘two-minute’ warning, the world of food safety has the ‘two-hour’ rule. One of the biggest food safety mistakes people tend to make during these types of gatherings is that they let perishable food items sit out over 2 hours without refrigeration. Food that has been sitting out for more than two hours can easily allow bacteria to multiply and cause illness. In severe cases, food borne illness can lead to hospitalization and even death. Dont have a penalty called on your party. Use the clock to your advantage and score with observing the 2 hour rule.


False Start

A false start in food safety occurs when partially and undercooked food is served. The result in this respect may be a few days of stomach cramps and diarrhea but it could also lead to hospitalization and possibly even death. Color is NOT a reliable indicator. Meat, poultry and fish should be cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.

Cook fresh roast beef, veal and lamb to at least 145°F for medium rare and 160°F for medium doneness. Roast whole poultry to 180°F and poultry breasts to 170°F. Ground turkey and poultry should be cooked to 165°F. All other meat, fish and ground beef should be cooked to 160°F.

Score while in the Red Zone

The only way to be sure food is safely cooked is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature make sure it is in the red zone for the type of meat.

Score one for Safety

Tackle grilling outside. Make sure the designated griller keeps his/her cooking outdoors. Grilling in garages, carports or even inside the house is extremely dangerous. It could not only cause a fire, but also be a risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. UL suggests you plan ahead and pre-cook during the pre-game and keep your grill a safe distance (10 feet if possible) from the side of your home

Intentional Grounding
In food safety, intentional grounding occurs when a guest at your Super Bowl party eats undercooked burgers or perishable food left out in the “Danger Zone” during the Pre-Game show and misses the entire second half of the game. E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Other symptoms of food borne illness from E. coli and other types of bacteria are high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. The very young, older adults and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to food borne illness. Ensuring food is safely cooked by using a food thermometer is your best defense against food borne bacteria.

Chop Block
In food safety, this occurs when you chop raw veggies on the same cutting board that was used to cut up chicken and other raw meats. The juices from the raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that cross contaminates other foods. Use one cutting board for raw meat and poultry and one cutting board for veggies. If you use only one cutting board, then wash it in hot soapy water after preparing each food item.

Upon Further Review
In football, referees often use the instant replay to ensure they made the right call. You can also be sure that you are making the right call when it comes to food safety. One of the best resources to call is USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Recorded messages are available 24 hours a day. The Hotline is staffed with food safety experts.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is unsportsmanlike, a crime and it also kills. Sixty-two percent of all fatal car crashes on Super Bowl Sunday last year were alcohol-related, according to statistics from the National Highway Safety Administration. That is 25 percent higher than a normal day.

Illegal Forward Pass

Pass Your Keys to a Sober, Designated Driver Before the Super Bowl Begins. This way you will avoid becoming one of the Super Bowl Sunday fatality statistics.Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Over thirty people died in auto accidents on Super Bowl Sunday in 2012. “Along with St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic crashes,” Please be safe!

Other safety tips you should follow include:

  • Use plastic cups or provide a way for people to identify their drinks. Dont let anyone else drink out of your glass.
  • Give every dish a utensil for serving, including those snack dishes like nuts, pretzels, etc. This allows people to spoon out their portion instead of reaching in with their hands. Avoid anything that involves sticking your hands into a bowlful of food.
  • Do not share food.
  • Make sure there is plenty of soap next to sinks. Instead of the usual pretty hand towel, use disposable hand towels or a roll of paper towels.
  • If you are hosting the party and someone in your household becomes ill, cancel the celebration to avoid the chance of spreading the illness to those in attendance.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, walk away from the crowd and sneeze or cough into a tissue or your sleeve. This year has been a bad year for flu. We dont want to spread cold and flu throughout the party to your friends, family or co-workers.

So, take your seat, fill your plate and enjoy the game. Have a wonderful yet safe Super Bowl weekend! Safety First, Safety Always!

Information provided by the USDA, American Red Cross and National Highway Safety Administration.

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau


Whistleblowe Statistics for 2012

With 2012 over and done with, OSHA has just released the stats on its’ whistleblower program.

The statistics show that cases filed continues to increase steadily.

The vast majority of cases were, of course, withdrawn or dismissed (disgruntled employees, people seeking to create problems, etc…).
The actual number of cases found to have merit dropped from 55 in 2011 to 45 in 2012.

You can view all the data on the OSHA whistleblowers website. It is essentially 7 pages of charts and graphs like the one above, making it easy to view at a glance.