Holiday parties can be fun, ugly sweater parties that produce great pictures and great memories. They can be average. Or they can be so bad that dozens of people fall ill and you make national headlines! (And it could even be worse than that: thanks to Ebola, holiday parties have been banned in Sierra Leone this year!)
Start by making a welcoming entrance.
If your guests will be traveling through the cold and possibly snow, make sure there’s a place for their coats, scarves, and shoes. Protip: keeping a bottle of Smelly Shoe Spray by the door allows guests to discreetly take care of any odor that may be caused by sweat.
Make sure the food you serve is safe. Wash hands frequently when preparing it, keep raw meat and anything it touches away from prepared food. Take care of any injuries before preparing food (check out these tips for wound care). Be careful not to touch your face (you could spread germs to yourselves or others). If those last two seem obvious, note that that’s the suspected source of the disease that hospitalized dozens in Florida.
Food should be refrigerated or heated, and not set out until right before it’s time to eat. That’s probably the next biggest source of holiday illness.
(Guest and not hosting? Check out yesterday’s article on supporting your digestive tract.)
Consider setting out yogurt-based palate cleansers. It’s a fashionable throw-back, and the yogurt will provide probiotics to support your guest’s good digestion. (Alternatively, try yogurt-based salad dressing, dips, etc.).
Moderate alcohol that you serve (especially when New Year’s Eve rolls around) or, offer guests a place to crash for the night. Not only are roads bad, but everyone tends to be doing the same risky things on holidays, compounding the risk. Or go fancy, and hire a van to take sloshed guests home (it’s also a way to schedule an end to your party!).
What are your holiday plans?