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Keep the Bowl Super

Full disclosure: the only football game I will watch is the Army Navy Game and that comes from years of mandatory viewings thanks to my dad, (sink Navy!). After 4 years of college, I can count on one hand how many football games I attended and I definitely never sat through all 4 quarters. But, every year, a glorious day for commercials occurs, when I hang out with friends, give myself a prequel to Fat Tuesday, and laugh obnoxiously at bad humor and left sharks, while simultaneously sobbing over the beautiful friendship between horses and labs.


But behind every Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen “My caucus is bigger than your caucus,” or Janet Jackson allusion, are dangers that are often overlooked in the celebration: food borne illness. After the Chipotle debacle and now the Dole recalls, food prep safety should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. So for all you connoisseurs out there of Velveeta Nachos and Smokies Pigs in a Blanket, fear no more! With the help of the USDA below is a list of safe food handling practices that should be used this Super Bowl Sunday!

  1. Wash your hands. Before you start, and especially after you’ve handled meat or eggs. This should be a no brainer but we all forget. Eggs and chicken especially are breeding grounds for salmonella and raw meat is a breeding ground for tons of bacteria. Save yourself and your guests and wash your hands.
  2. Wash your utensils, bowls, and cutting boards whenever they have come into contact with raw meat or eggs. Try your best to not cross contaminate your food for fear of worshipping the porcelain god instead of your television screen.
  3. Keep track of how long your food has been out. Perishable foods should not be left outside of a refrigerator for more than 2 hours or bacteria will begin to cultivate. To avoid letting salsa and berries or meats sit out for long periods, put out less food and refill as the night wears on. It’s better to miss an interception while spooning out more dip for everyone than miss the whole next season due to food borne illnesses.
  4. Know the facts about meat thermometers:
    1. Raw beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to 145°F with a three minute rest time.
    2. Raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal should be cooked to 160°F.
    3. All cuts of poultry should reach at least 165 °F.
  5. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. The danger zone for food is between 40°F and 140°F.


Now, we must always remember our trusted pets when celebrating. Suddenly all of these strangers will be in their house, making loud noises, and the coffee table will be full of appetizing smells. Accidents may happen and food may go missing, so you must keep an eye out for your pet’s well-being.


  1. Alcohol should never be given to animals. It is a toxin that can lead to vomiting, difficulty breathing, and death.
  2. That 7 layer dip may be singing to your taste buds but if it contains onions or garlic it can cause some serious illnesses in your animals, by breaking down their red blood cells and causing anemia. The chips you’re crunching? They can cause sodium poisoning in your animal.
  3. Cocktail nuts on your table an afterthought with all the sizzling hotdogs and burgers? They shouldn’t be. Many nuts are extremely toxic to pets and as few as six can cause your pet to experience muscle tremors, weakness, vomiting, fever and an elevated heart rate.
  4. Biebs may love eating fondue by the fire but anything chocolate is fatal for your animal. Keep all desserts away from animals or in the fridge.
  5. You’ve sucked down the baby back ribs, you’re working on some wild sauce laden buffalo wings, and you’re giving Fido the bones and fat trimmings—don’t. Fat trimmed from meat can cause pancreatitis in dogs and bones can become lodged in the digestive track and puncture stomach linings.


It’s the end of the 3rd quarter and you’ve protected yourself against food borne illness and protected your pets from poisoning. But at the end of the game everyone will need to drive home to get ready for the work week. Friends do not let friends drive drunk. If you are serving alcohol, or if someone in attendance is drinking, do not allow them to drive home. Be prepared to offer a bed, a couch, or the floor to anyone and everyone who may need it. If you are attending someone’s party, make plans for a designated driver or line share with Uber or Lyft. Push comes to shove, remove the stress of needing to be home by using PTO on Monday to recover from Sunday night.

Curcio Law wishes you a safe and fun-filled Super Bowl. May all the commercials be funny and the halftime show amusing. Eat safe, keep your pets safe, and especially drive safe.

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Thomas J. Curcio

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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Rakin Hamad

Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…

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Julia Martinez

Julia Martinez, a Florida native, joined Curcio Law as a paralegal in 2013. She began her legal career in 1998 working at a personal injury firm that primarily handled automobile accidents, slip and falls, and products liability cases. Then, in 2008 she expanded her knowledge by working at two other law firms. She obtained her…

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Kathy McAfee
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As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

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Riann Winget
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Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…

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