Even though the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers aren't in the Super Bowl there's still a lot of excitement and plans for Super Bowl parties this Sunday.  Over 100 million football fans will watch the game and approximately 1.3 billion chicken wings will be consumed.  The last thing you want is you or any of your guests getting sick after eating something at your party.

If you think about it, people will arrive to your party an hour or so before the game to get themselves settled in.  If your food goes out before the game starts, with a 3 hour(+) game time your food could potentially sit out 4(+) hours before someone consumes it.  Or, if you're going to make chicken wings and bring them to a party, that additional travel time allows the chicken wings to cool.  Depending on the situation your wings could go from being in the "Red Zone" to the Danger Zone.

So you need to develop a game plan that will keep everyone safe and healthy.  Chicken wings are very popular and to save money more and more people are making their own. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service there are some safety tips to follow.

I know the first one is true because I use to rinse all my chicken before cooking it.  Now they say don't do that.  Experts say that not only will washing or rinsing your chicken not destroy bacteria but while you are rinsing it the splash from the chicken can contaminate other foods or surfaces that may be near.  I don't do that anymore.

As with most meat, taking the internal temperature is the best way to ensure that it is properly cooked.  For a chicken wing it should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Don't just test one wing either, test several and at the thickest part of the wing.  Avoid the bone because that can give you an incorrect temperature reading.

Move over Butterball Help Line!  They are offering personal safety coaches at the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline to answer any questions.  If you need food safety coaches call, 1.888.674.6854.  You can also chat with a food safety specialist at askkaren.gov.

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