"'Flag on the Play':Tailgating" by Kirstin Massmann

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Here at CBI we represent a slue of football teams, both college and professional.  We may disagree on who to root for on Saturday and Sundays but one thing we can agree on is tailgating.  Usually the responsibility of food and drinks is delegated and variations of chip dips, veggie plates, mini-meatballs, and desserts are served during the big game, but who is in charge of food safety?  May sound dorky but how often do you go home after tailgating feeling less than par?  Although feeling sick could be a result of one too many Clemson inspired purple and orange Jell-O shots or the disappointment of another Purdue loss but you would be surprised how often it is from foodborne illnesses.   Bacteria can grow on almost any food, so after you wash your hands wash all of the food you’re preparing and store appropriately.  No prepared foods should ever sit at room temperature (68-77 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than two hours.  The bacteria growth danger zone is from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, this being said a good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s hot keep it hot, if it’s cold keep it cold’.  For cooked meats and warm dips keep the dish in a Crockpot or heating pan to prevent growth of Clostridium perfringens.  For cold mayo-based vegetable and chip dips as well as potato salads and sandwich spreads have one bowl full of ice under your serving bowl to prevent growth Staphylococcus aureaus.  It is also important not to cross contaminate causing Salmonella or E. coli to grow.  Raw meats should be stored by themselves and should not be cut with the same knife or placed on the same plate.  Discard the raw meat plate immediately and have a second plate ready for the finished, fully cooked, meat product.  These small, yet costly mistakes cause millions of football fans to search for comfort in the pretty pink Pepto-Bismol bottle while spending hours in the bathroom or even the hospital.  This football season take some responsibility and do your part to prevent foodborne illness amongst your friends.  Just remember when it comes to food safety: ‘When in Doubt, Throw it Out!’

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