Be the Food Safety MVP this Super Bowl Feb 01, 2019 By: Ashley Eisenbeiser, MS, CFS, Director, Food and Product Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute The Super Bowl is a unique sporting event that brings together both football and non-football lovers. Whether someone is watching the game to cheer on their favorite team, for the commercials or for the halftime show, we can all agree that the real focus of the celebration is on the food and drink--wings, chili, dips, meatballs, veggies, or a sandwich tray from your favorite grocery store. Let’s be honest, this, along with the company, is what makes the festivities memorable. Food prepared in the home is one of the top places people get foodborne illness. According to the CDC, an estimated 10 percent of all reported foodborne illnesses are from food that was prepared in the home. One way to ruin the fun, is to get sick from the food; therefore, it is critical that everyone bring their food safety A-game to the Super Bowl party and follow proper food safety practices before kick-off to the end of the game. So, this weekend when you are getting your food line-up strait and preparing for the big game, Don’t Wing It! Make sure you have a food safety game plan. Tips from our playbook for your food safety game plan: Block that double-dipper. Your best defense in preventing foodborne illness is to focus on the fundamentals – Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill. Bring the heat for hot foods by cooking food to the proper internal temperature. Apply ice to chill cold foods to prevent food safety injuries. Avoid a food safety fumble—foods left out over two hours – throw them out. No personal fouls, wash those hands. Extra Point – Call your local grocery store! Retailers will be on the sidelines this Super Bowl and will be key players to help you with your food safe party. Food safety is the foundation of food retailers’ relationships with their customers. When it comes to food safety, consumers rely on retailers as a trusted source of information. Retailers are committed to food safety, not just during the Super Bowl, but every day. At the end of the game, players on the winning team are usually asked what they are going to do after they win? Usually, there are a number of responses given but inevitably someone will say, “I’m going to Disney World.” Similarly, many retailers will be headed to Disney World after the Super Bowl to attend the Partnership for Food Safety Education’s Consumer Food Safety Conference (CFSEC) March 6-8. Supporting the CFSEC is just one way retailers are investing in food safety to help boost the effectiveness of their food safety messages and enhance how they engage with customers on food safety. No matter what side your team is on, let’s all be food safety winners this Super Bowl. For more food safety resources, visit the FMI Food Safety Resource Page. To register or for more information about the Consumer Food Safety Education Conference, visit https://cfsec2019.fightbac.org/.