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Cold 1 – Hot 2: Don’t Let Bacteria Score a Touchdown on Super Bowl Sunday

Posted by Clara Yuvienco, Food Safety Education Staff, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service in Health and Safety
Jan 21, 2020
Appetizers on the table for the football party
Appetizers on the table for the football party.

The rules of a football game are clear, but many don’t know game-day food safety rules. Help your guests stay healthy by tackling offensive bacteria that could be in possession of your food. Be ready to intercept foodborne illness and protect the serving line with a defense of food safety tips.

Follow these food safety rules to keep cross contamination off the playing field:

Clean: Wash hands, utensils and surfaces often when preparing Super Bowl foods.

Separate: Use separate plates and cutting boards for raw and cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

Cook: Ensure your food reaches the right internal temperatures as measured with a food thermometer.

USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures


Internal Temperature

Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb, Steaks, Roasts and Chops

145 °F
with 3-minute rest time


145 °F

Ground Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb

160 °F

Egg Dishes

160 °F

Turkey, Chicken and Duck, Whole, Pieces and Ground

165 °F

Note: These temperatures are recommended for consumer cooking. For processing, institutional, or foodservice preparation, consult your state or local food codes or health department.

Chill: Keep food out of the “Danger Zone.” Bacteria thrive between 40 °F and 140 °F. Never leave perishables out for more than two hours. Keep cold food cold in the refrigerator at 40 °F or below, in coolers or on the serving line on ice. Keep hot food, cooked or reheated, at or above 140 °F in the oven, chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, or in warming trays.

Want 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. Eastern Time, or email or chat at Ask USDA.

Category/Topic: Health and Safety