Score Big with Food Safety This Super Bowl Sunday

Staying healthy during Super Bowl feasting

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) With the flu and noroviruses (stomach bugs) tackling millions this winter, it’s a good idea to plan ahead to avoid intercepting germs during Super Bowl parties. One of the best ways to guard yourself and your guests is to prevent double dipping.

It’s so common, you don’t even think about it. You take a bite from a chip or veggie you just dipped into the dip bowl. Then you take another dip into the same bowl.

And guess what? You’ve just passed your germs to all the other guests. That’s a great way to possibly sideline yourself and others.

There are lots of ways to keep you, your food and your guests in the germ-free zone this Super Bowl Sunday. It just takes a little pre-game planning.

"Don’t double dip."

“Double dipping is like getting a lick of someone else’s saliva,” says Donna Duberg, MA, MS, MT(ASCP)SM, a germ expert at Saint Louis University. “It spreads bacteria.”

Research has shown that a single double-dip can leave 10,000 bacteria in the dip bowl. And that’s from just one tiny bit of spit!

Duberg has some tips for ways to avoid the double dips:

  • Have plates on hand for folks to pile on foods of their choice.
  • Use serving utensils for everything – forks, spoons and ladles – take germ-laden fingers out of play.
  • Try to offer individual servings of foods, such as single serving bags of chips.
  • Boxed or individually wrapped food items, such as sandwiches and cheese sticks, are also a good idea.
  • Put out individual bowls of dip, or place a spoon next to the dip bowl so people can put it on their plates and dip away.
  • Serve salsa instead of sour cream or mayonnaise-based dips. Salsa has more acidity and the bacteria won’t grow as quickly as in creamier sauces.
  • Skip the dip altogether. Instead, serve chicken wings or cocktail sausages slathered with their own sauces.
  • Offer a macaroni and cheese dish that’s kept warm in a crock pot.
  • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
  • Hot foods should be at 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit while on the table or buffet.
  • Cold foods should be stored in the refrigerator at 40 degrees and left out for only about two hours.
  • Don’t be a food taste tester if you’re the chef. Spoon out what you want to taste onto a tasting spoon to keep your germs off the field.

Stay in the food safety zone this Super Bowl Sunday to stay healthy after the big game is long since won.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 30, 2013
Last Updated:
February 3, 2013