Millions of people get sick every year from food poisoning for improperly preparing their chicken wings. Keep these tips in mind while cooking so foodborne illness doesn't sideline your party:
- Try not to wash your wings - bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can splash and spread to other foods, utensils and surfaces, contaminating them.
- Never cross contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs and seafood in separate plastic bags in your grocery cart to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. Always remember to use a separate cutting board for fresh fruits and vegetables and for raw meats.
- Raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs need to be cooked to the right internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure foods have reached the correct temperature to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present. Chicken wings are safe to eat when they have reached 165°F.
- Keep food hot (at 140°F or above) in a slow cooker or chafing dish, or keep half of the food on the table and the other in the oven and swap it out every hour. Keep cold foods cold (at 40°F or below) by placing salads, dips and salsa in a tray of ice. When setting food out, be sure to serve cold foods in small portions.
- Don’t leave food sitting out. Most bacteria grow at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. That temperature range is known as the “Danger Zone”. Refrigerate food promptly. Do not leave food at room temperature for more than 2 hours.