At a party, we shake hands; share foods, sometimes prepared at home, dip out of the same bowl and spread disease.
Summer is a great time for football parties. You may be invited to share the fun and just bring a dish to pass. What you prepare can get others sick. Here are some simple rules:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing ready to eat foods.
- Consider using gloves during food preparation.
- Carefully wash any fruits or vegetables you will serve.
- Refrigerate any dips, etc. until the last minute.
- If your travel time is more than an hour, use a cooler.
While at the event:
- Refrigerate any items needing such until the last minute.
- Shake hands with your right hand and eat with your left. I know on your first impression this seems way to compulsive but trust me, it is a simple way to reduce getting whatever someone else is carrying on their hands. Imagine with all the people shaking hands how many viruses and bacteria are spread at a party.
- Alternately consider washing your hands immediately before eating and frequently during the gathering. No one will notice. Really.
After the party:
- Don’t be tempted to save leftovers. Throw them away. If they have been sitting at room temperature for several hours the bacterial growth is exponential. By the time you get the item home, the total time at room temperature likely has far exceeded the recommended four-hour maximum.
- Even if it is an item that doesn’t need refrigeration, the risk of contamination from multiple hands grabbing into the bowl is unacceptable. Be safe.