My son plays hockey, so I’ve had to become a hockey mom. The truth is even though I’m Canadian, hockey’s not my first choice when it comes to sports. Football on the other hand is a different story! This weekend signifies the end of the season with SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! I don’t get to host a party or partake in our annual tradition of an “all fried food day” since most of our weekend will be spent at the rink for a hockey tournament… You can be assured, I will somehow find a way to watch the game and as a Seahawks fan I am NOT cheering for New England!
What does football and the Super Bowl have to do with infection prevention? Well, you have crowds, you have food and it is influenza season. But influenza, Norovirus, food poisoning or the common cold is not the only infection prevention concern. In 2015, Public Health Officials in Arizona were battling a measles outbreak. The week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, 1000 people were being monitored after being exposed to infected people. Similarly, in 2012, Public Health Officials in Indiana began outbreak management after a couple who had been exposed but were not yet showing symptoms of infection attended the festivities at the Super Bowl Village and put 200,000 at risk of possible exposure.
So what’s in store for this year when we are experiencing one of the worst flu seasons? Well, the organizers are taking things seriously! Staff are wiping down all exhibits multiple times a day with sanitizers and disinfectants, and volunteers with the United Way are disinfecting the virtual reality equipment between each use at their Super Bowl Experience booth. Health Officials are urging Super Bowl visitors to get vaccinated before arriving in Minnesota. Once they arrive, they are being reminded to wash their hands with soap and water more frequently and have hand sanitizer on hand. It’s going to be crowded. There are going to be some sick people, which means there will be germs floating around especially in crowded areas. Aside from getting vaccinated, washing your hands frequently is the other way to avoid getting sick, and after the game is over avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth (unless you’ve washed your hands first).
But what about the food? Well, according to our family motto “if it’s fried, it must be tried”! But to be safe when it comes to eating safely at a Super Bowl party, avoid eating food that has been left a room temperature for too long. If you’re scarfing down dips or other cold-favoring treats, eat the ones that are served on ice or have been kept cold in the fridge. Allowing these foods to get warm can lead to unintended consequences….if you know what I mean! The same goes for food that needs to be served hot like chili or other meat products. Avoid a penalty and keep them warm!
If you’re around Oakville on Sunday you may hear me singing the Eagles fight song:
Fly Eagles Fly! On the road to victory!
Fly Eagles Fly! Score a touchdown!
1, 2, 3! Hit'em low! Hit'em high!
And watch our Eagles Fly! On the road to victory!