(WKBN) — Super Bowl parties often feature elaborate spreads of dips, sliders or wings, but an opponent capable of putting you on the bench could be lurking on the snacking field.

Unlike other food-forward holidays, these snackable, perishable foods aren’t consumed in an hour, meaning they’re left out for several hours.

As it only takes about two hours for dangerous levels of bacteria to multiply, the United States Department of Agriculture wants Super Bowl party attendees to remember to follow food safety guidance.

“Millions of people get sick from food poisoning each year. Following guidance on keeping food at safe temperatures, proper handwashing and avoiding cross-contamination will protect you and your party guests,” says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The USDA recommends putting out small amounts of food and replenishing them often.

Other tips you can follow include:

  1. Remember the four steps to food safety: Clean your hands and surfaces often and thoroughly using soap; separate your utensils and ingredients to avoid cross-contamination; cook foods to a safe internal temperature; chill leftovers within two hours.
  2. Cook foods to a safe internal temperature using a food thermometer. Test the doneness of several pieces of meat to make sure they’re all safe to serve.
  3. Avoid the danger zone of 40 to 140 degrees for perishable foods. Bacteria multiply very quickly in this range, so it’s best to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Nestle cold foods in ice, or keep hot foods on a warming tray. When reheating leftovers, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Throw away foods that have been sitting out for more than two hours.
  4. Keep takeout food safe: Divide foods into smaller portions and refrigerate until it’s time to serve them. When getting ready to serve them, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If using a microwave, stir the contents around to make sure heating is evenly dispersed.

When it’s time to pack up the leftovers, it’s a good idea to put portions into smaller containers for freezing or refrigerating. Smaller containers allow the food to cool more quickly and keeps them from resting in the danger zone for too long.

You can reach out to the USDA’s meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-674-6854, or chat live with ask.usda.gov with any questions.