SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — With the big game right around the corner the US Department of Agriculture is warning party hosts to be vigilant in protecting food from bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.
“This iconic annual event is often celebrated by ordering takeout and delivered foods, which if left out too long, can cause foodborne illness,” the USDA said in a press release.
Bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses grow between 40 degrees and 140 degrees if food is left out for more than two hours. Bacteria grows faster if food is left out in temperatures of over 90 degrees.
One way to prevent food illnesses is to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. For cold foods, the USDA recommends nesting serving dishes into bowls of ice. For hot dishes, it is recommended to use slow cookers, preheated warming trays or chafing dishes to keep food warm.
In addition, the USDA recommends not serving all food at once. Instead small platters should be used and food can be replenished when needed. Hot food should be reheated in the microwave to a temperature of 165 degrees.