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Don't give bacteria a sporting chance at tailgate party

Don't give bacteria a sporting chance at your next football tailgate party.

Food and football have long been paired.

In fact, football fields are called "grid-irons" after a grate used for grilling food.

Keeping food safe at parties takes a team effort.

The Food Safety Inspection Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers four simple rules to keep your party safe:

• Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.

• Separate. Separate raw meat and poultry from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.

• Cook. Use a food thermometer to ensure raw meat and poultry are cooked to a safe internal temperature to destroy harm-ful bacteria that may be present.

• Chill. Store leftovers in the cooler within two hours of taking food off of the grill. When the temperature is above 90° Fahrenheit, store food within one hour.

Following the four food safety steps will ensure all tailgaters enjoy safe food.

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