On February 12, people all over the United States, including Illinois, will gather with friends and family to watch the Super Bowl. During this time-honored American tradition, food plays a major role, and people make and order a wide variety of food. Every year, the USDA issues a warning to be careful about food handling and food safety; and yet, every year, people get sick.
Whether you get food poisoning from the food you buy at the store or food you order from a restaurant, it can pose serious risks to your health. Learn more about the unique dangers of food poisoning that long-lasting events can pose, and contact an Illinois food poisoning attorney for help with your case.
Why Are Super Bowl Events a Common Source of Food Poisoning?
One of the most enjoyable parts of watching the Super Bowl is that it is not just a game – it is an event, with a much-anticipated Halftime Show, entertaining commercials, and sports commentary before and after the game. Super Bowl events typically last at least four hours, but often go on for much longer. During the entire event, large amounts of food frequently sit out at room temperature and are not refrigerated, reheated, or covered.
Whether the food comes from the grocery store or a restaurant, this presents a clear health hazard. Bacteria can grow and spread much faster at room temperature, especially when multiple people are touching food, plates, and surfaces. For example, if someone prepares chicken wings from scratch and sets the foam plate the chicken came in onto a counter, dangerous bacteria like salmonella can easily spread onto other peoples’ hands, plates, and even food.
USDA Guidelines for Super Bowl Food Safety
The USDA reminds people that it is impossible to taste, smell, or see dangerous bacteria, and instead to rely on the following four food safety principles:
Clean – Be very cautious when handling raw food, especially meat and chicken, and wash hands and surfaces regularly with soap and water.
Separate – Do not use the same preparation surfaces or utensils to prepare raw meat as you use to prepare other foods.
Cook – Make sure all foods are cooked well enough to kill any harmful bacteria.
Chill – Rather than leaving food out for many hours at a time, if cooked or ordered food is not eaten quickly, refrigerate it and then reheat it in small amounts that people can gradually consume.
Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you contract a serious foodborne illness during Super Bowl season, contact an Illinois food poisoning attorney with Newland & Newland, LLP to learn whether you are in a position to take action against the responsible vendor. Call 312-981-0409 today.