Caution: Watching Soccer May Cause Harm to Your Stomach

That is, if you are not following a few simple steps.

Let’s talk about food poisoning for a moment, shall we? Sure, I know that it is not exactly a pleasant topic, but it happens all too often during summer time so it is a topic that needs to be addressed. In fact, foodborne illness leads to approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and may deaths every single year.

That makes foodborne illness a really serious issue, and it can be avoided by taking some simple precautions. Now is the time to get the word out, as there may be even more celebratory barbecues this month than usual (and therefore even more chances for food poisoning) around the soccer matches going on in Brazil. Consider this. Today the United States men’s national soccer team will play against Ghana in Brazil. How does that relate to food poisoning? The CDC estimates that twice the amount of people (24 million) who watched the U.S. play Ghana in their infamous 2010 match will suffer from foodborne illness this year.

So that harm to your stomach? It may not come from just nerves.

We are a soccer household who has been watching all the games so far. If you have not seen any of them yet, do yourself a favor and catch at least one of the matches. Those athletes are pretty incredible. My family watched that 2010 U.S. versus Ghana match with great trepidation, so this is a statistic that is all too relatable to my family.

In my family we have also been relatively lucky with regards to food poisoning, knowing the tips from the Food Safe Families campaign. None of us wants to be the one who gets sick, nor do we want to be the host of a party where our guests get sick from food poisoning. The Food Safe Families campaign shares important reminders of steps we can take year round to help keep our families safe from food poisoning.

When you light up the grill or head out to a party, first consider these four simple food safety tips from

Clean first: When preparing party food, make sure to wash down kitchen surfaces and utensils with soap and water. Don’t forget to wash your hands, too, before cooking and before eating. Often when we are out at a party, we forget to wash our hands before eating, and then we go from shaking hands and touching surfaces to picking up food.

Separate food: Cross-contamination occurs when raw meats, like your chicken wings or steaks, touch ready-to-eat foods like veggies. In the refrigerator, place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. When taking food off the grill or out of the oven, do not put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.

Cook well: Make sure that foods are cooked to the right temperature by using a food thermometer. That’s the only way to know it’s a safe temperature. For example sausages should be cooked at 160° F and poultry to 165° F. Also, make sure to clean the thermometer thoroughly before each use.

Chill: Chill both raw and prepared foods promptly if not consuming after cooking. Follow the two hour rule: you shouldn’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours. If you want to keep them out for guests, try nestling foods in ice to keep them safe.

Want to know more tips? Join us for a Twitter chat on Tuesday, June 17th at 1pm EST— just hours before the anticipated Brazil vs. Mexico game! We’ll be offering some terrific game-day party tips too. Just follow the hashtag #WorldCupChat for the English chat and #WorldCupFiesta for the Spanish version.

No matter who you are rooting for, let’s all be safe while doing it. Go, U.S.A., Go!

World Cup Food Safety

Disclosure: Thanks to the Ad Council and for providing these tips and the corresponding infographic.



  1. Those are all great tips. We eat our meat very well done, so it’s always cooked thoroughly!

  2. Great tips for having a food poisoning free summer : ).

  3. what a great reminder! starting tomorrow night, we will be hosting friends to watch the World Cup 2014 series. Menu is ready but I need to remind people who will help cook and visitors as well on tidiness

  4. Savannah miller says:

    All of these are great tips we cook out a lot in the summer and have parties I will have to make sure everyone is following these rules :)

  5. I need to print this and attach it to my fridge…I’m always getting stomach bugs and who knows if it’s really food poisoning!

  6. and OF COURSE – make sure your guacamole is free from cilantro – 😉

  7. Thanks for sharing the infographic! I’m supporting Spain in the World Cup, and their devastating loss to Netherlands really broke my heart. Oh well, I still have faith in Italy and Germany…

  8. Whenever I see salads or other perishable things at picnics I worry about how long things have been out and not on ice.

  9. Great tips! I had food poisoning when I was in high school. At a restaurant, someone cut the salad vegetables on a cutting board that had raw chicken on it. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!!!

  10. Good advice. Need to watch out for things like this.

  11. lol love the title of this post! I could go for some chili right now after reading this! Awesome tips!

  12. These are some great tips! Food poisoning terrifies me and I’m always taking extra precautions to make sure my kitchen is clean.

  13. Lisa J. Jones says:

    Such Great Tips I Need To Remember So Scary To Get Food Poisoning Thank You For Sharing!

  14. Great tips! Especially during this grilling season!

  15. Very good info…I try every hard to keep our food safe during warm weather.

  16. Ugh, my husband and I got food poisoning from oysters last year. It was so bad, that even typing the word oysters (blech) makes me sick. It was awful!

  17. Thanks for these great tips for keeping food borne illnesses at bay! It’s so important at this and anytime of year!

  18. I love that graphic with so many great tips! I obsessively wash my hands while cooking!

  19. So many great tips! Love that graphic, and wash my hands constantly!

  20. And it is not fun… i have had food borne illnesses twice.. thanks for the tips..

  21. I’m so super nervous about food poisoning that I take ridiculous steps to avoid it. Thanks for the practical info. And GO USA!!! (it was a great game!)

  22. Trying to get the kids to appreciate World Cup soccer! And their well done burgers! Great tips!

  23. Maria Oller says:

    Great tips I have to work hard to not forget to wash or change the cutting board every time I cut some type of meat. I tend to forget it.

  24. I am so careful now because I accidentally gave my husband food poisoning when we were pretty young. I had unplugged the crockpot during the day to use the plug, forgot about it, and I was talking to him on the phone and realized it so I told him I would plug it back in. BAM! I made food poisoning and he ate two helpings. The only thing that saved me from feeling worse than I did was the the fact he works in the food industry and took the blame on himself because it should have clicked in his brain what was happening.

  25. I’m probably one of the few Latinas who isn’t watching The World Cup. I am only aware of it going on because I’m in Social Media so much. I am focused on my passions right now and won’t invest my time doing activities that don’t add to the goal I’m pursuing. I love however, that you are focused on keeping people healthy and safe while they’re being entertained. It is easy to get distracted, for sure.

  26. Oh, food poisoning is the worst. I worked in food service for years, so it’s top of mind for me, but my husband thinks I’m a paranoid lunatic. It only takes once, though, and you never forget it!

  27. what a funny post. My friend just got food poisoning from a reastaurant and was driving an hour home on the high way with her kids. night mare.

  28. Great advice – I didn’t know about the two hour room temperature rule!

  29. even leaving the food out too long can be harmful. I am always leary at parties and potlucks about that!

  30. Thanks for this wonderful tips…
    it’s so help to us,..
    poison I mean food poisoning is the number one disease or sick we need to prevent…

  31. All great tips and so important for summer!

  32. Interesting, yea if you are watching tv it is easy to forget about food that is sitting out. Great Inforgraphic. I am usually putting food away at neighbors when we have a get together.

  33. We have been watching most of the games. My husband is absolutely obsessed with soccer.

  34. Great tips. I had food poisoning once and it was awful.

  35. My husband is a huge Soccer fan, but he calls it futbol. He was routing for England all the way. Sadly though … these are awesome tips. Food poisoning is def not fun.

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