This is the last in a three part series tackling bacteria in restaurants, home kitchens and on prepared food ahead of the Super Bowl, Sunday February 7, 2010.
If you're hosting friends for a Super Bowl party or just having your own junk food feast Sunday, be careful not get an "illegal procedure" penalty when it comes to food safety.
The classic table spread of pizza, chips and dip, veggies, chicken wings, etc. might all taste delicious at kickoff, but if the food sits out, somewhere around the third quarter your chances of getting sick are much higher.
To help us illustrate bacterial growth on food sitting at room temperature, we enlisted the help of Wichita State University Microbiologist Fawn Beckman. Beckman performed a test, leaving food samples out at room temperature for four hours to see how the bacteria levels increase over time. "Our bacterial counts they do multiply. They shoot through the roof," said Beckman.