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Throw a Penalty-Free, Food Safe World Cup Party

salsa chips dip guacoamole World Cup party food

The world will soon come together to cheer their favorite soccer heroes and follow each kick, each goal, every win and every heartbreak for a chance see their team crowned the world’s best.  Ladies and gentlemen, the World Cup tournament is again upon us. While some lucky few out there will get the incredible opportunity to sit at Brasilia’s Estadio Nacional or at Manaus’ Arena Amazonia, most of us will have to vent our frustrations and direct our joyful screams at our televisions. Since everything is better with good company, some will plan and organize World Cup parties at home.

Regardless of who wins in the end, nobody wants to lose to a foodborne illness. Score the winning goal by keeping your guests safe and your food free of nasty bacteria. Cheer for your team and party hard, but always make sure your

party is safe and penalty-free by following our food safety tips below.

Illegal use of hands

Unless you are the goal keeper, using your hands is not permitted in soccer. The same goes for food handling in order to keep everything safe. Before and after preparing or handling food, always wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Unclean hands are a major food penalty for you and your guests. Use clean platters to serve and restock food, and keep surfaces clean.

Dangerous Play

Reckless behavior can get you and your guests red-carded. There is nothing more reckless in the kitchen than cross-contamination. Avoid this by keeping raw meats separate from other foods. Make sure raw meats do not come in contact with other foods on the buffet. Never place cooked food back on the same plate that previously held raw food unless the plate has been first washed in hot, soapy water.

Impending Progress

Don’t cause a personal foul that’s risky to the health of your guests. Always use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked to the right temperature.  Color and texture are not indicators of doneness. Ground beef should be cooked to 160˚F, poultry should be cooked to 165˚F and steaks should reach a 145˚F with a three-minute rest time.

Technical Penalties

Avoid this penalty by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold.  Do not keep food on the buffet at room temperature for more than two hours.  Hot foods need to have a hot source to keep them out of the Danger Zone.  Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40˚F – 140˚F.  The same rule applies for cold foods – they need to be nestled in ice to remain safe for guests. When in doubt, throw it out. Replenish it with fresh servings.

Remember, when it comes to food safety there are no yellow cards, only red ones.

Food safety is the winning play for your World Cup party. 

If you have any burning questions concerning food safety ask USDA’s virtual representative, “Ask Karen,” available at  Food safety experts are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET at the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Access food safety answers anytime from your mobile device at For more tips and notifications follow us via Twitter or Facebook.

World Cup Food Safety Infographic

TaggedParty | Buffet | Sports | World Cup | Soccer | Check Your Steps

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