UACES Facebook Food Safety for the Win at Your Super Bowl Party
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Food Safety for the Win at Your Super Bowl Party

Super Bowl party attendees preparing their buffet style meal
A buffet-style meal is the easiest and safest choice for serving at your Super Bowl party


Super Bowl Sunday is like a holiday, and that usually means food. Other than Thanksgiving, more food is consumed on this day than any other day of the year. All you need for a successful Super Bowl party is food, beverages and a television.

If you don’t exercise good food safety practices before, during and after the game, some Super Bowl guests might end up feeling much worse than fans of the losing team. Avoid being penalized with foodborne illness by keeping food safety in mind for your party.

Keep the food simple for this occasion. Most of the food is going to be gobbled down while everyone's eyes are glued to the television and not to your painstakingly prepared refreshments.

Serve an array of snacks and allow everyone to graze. If you want to offer a full-fledged meal to your fellow football fans, a buffet-style is the easiest and safest choice. It could be as simple as a chili bar, hero sandwiches, burritos and nachos, baked potatoes or pizzas.

Never hold foods for more than two hours at room temperature. If serving warm or hot foods such as chili, wings, pizza, hot dips, use your slow cooker or warming plates, to keep the hot food hot on your buffet table. Never keep hot foods at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Under no circumstance is it safe to reheat the food in hopes of killing food borne pathogens in food that has been in the temperature danger zone for longer than 2 hours.

If you are serving cold foods, they need to be kept on trays of ice. The same rules apply for cold foods as hot foods. If cold food has been sitting out for more than two hours, do not eat it. Throw it out.

Whatever you decide to serve, remember that the best refreshments are those that can be prepared ahead of time, requiring little last-minute fuss. You want to watch the big game too.

After the game, continue to keep food safety in mind as you take care of the leftovers. Divide foods into smaller portions, place in shallow containers and refrigerate within 2 hours after the party. Do not under any circumstance put the crockpot liner into the refrigerator full of chili, or whatever it held. The crockpot liner is not a storage container. The internal temperature will not cool down fast enough to get the food item out of the temperature danger zone of 40-140 degrees F.

If you won’t use the leftovers in 3-4 days, label and place them in the freezer to use at a later date.

If any perishable foods are sitting on the counter at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, they should be discarded.

When it is time to reheat your leftovers, reheat to 165°F and check the temperature with a food thermometer. For sauces, soups, chili or gravy, bring to a rolling boil. Do not reheat in a slow cooker. It is not designed for that and will not reheat it safely. Instead, reheat foods on the stove or in the microwave or oven.

For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at, on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at

Create a chili bar for your guests to enjoy at your party. You can make up the Dang Good Texas Chili earlier in the day and put it in a crockpot to cook while you tend to other things. Ask guests to bring things to go along with your chili bar. Remember to keep containers with ice for those items that need to stay cold.

Dang Good Texas Chili

2 pounds lean ground beef, cooked and drained

1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice

1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 cup chili powder

Optional: 1-15 ounce can each kidney beans, and pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Optional for heat: add 1 chopped jalapeno or habanero pepper, depending upon degree of heat. Wear gloves, the oils will burn your skin if they come into contact with it.

In a large stock pot, brown hamburger, onions and bell peppers until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with favorite toppings. (Note: If preparing in a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and set on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.)

By Carla Due
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair/FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Carla Due
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair/FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
(870) 779-3609

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