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Superbowl and Food Poisoning

football_foodWith the Superbowl just around the corner many of us are in the initial plans for preparing for a Superbowl party. Food usually takes center stage and we breakout our old favorite recipes for chili’s, meatballs and other hot party foods. Our slow cookers are pulled out from the back of the cabinet and put into play. Foods not prepared properly in a slow cooker can give our guest an evening of digestive unrest. Nothing worse than hearing from friends and family that they spent the evening hugging the porcelain princess.

Done properly your special recipes can be the hit of the party. Improperly prepared foods in a slow cooker can make your guest sick and in severe situations actually kill. To make sure you have a fun and food safe event follow the following rules when using your slow cooker:

1) Do not leave raw meats in a slow cooker without it being turned on. This may seem to be a simple warning, but if raw meat sits in a slow cooker for an extended period ( 2 hours or more) without the temperature turned on, bacteria’s will begin to multiply rapidly. You must discard the meat even if seems to be in good condition.

2) Pre-cooked foods from the day before that do not cool thoroughly and are still warm in the middle the next day, are not safe. If you plan on pre-cooking foods like soups, stews and chili’s, then warming the next day, place the foods in a shallow container that enables it to cool quickly in the refrigerator.

3) Do not reheat foods in a slow cooker. If you do use pre-cooked foods, rewarm the foods on a stove top or microwave until it is steaming, then use the slow cooker to keep the items warm the rest of the day.

4) Do not place frozen meats and vegetables in a slow cooker. All items must be thawed before being placed into the slow cooker. Leave thawed foods in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Following these simple rules will leave your guest full, safe and satisfied with some great food. Enjoy the game and remember, don’t ever drink and drive.

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