The Worst Thing You Could Serve at Christmas Dinner, CDC Warns

Avoiding serving this will help you limit the risk of transmitting or catching the virus.

It goes without saying that Christmas this year is unlike any other. Public health experts have advised Americans to avoid large gatherings and opt for an intimate dinner limited to the people in their household. But whether it's just your immediate family this Christmas or you've decided to incur the risk of mixing in another household or two, there is one thing you should avoid doing at Christmas dinner at all costs: serving your meal family-style. For more COVID precautions to take on Christmas, read on, and to see which dish is the most deeply disliked, check out This Is the Most Hated Christmas Dish, Survey Says.

Christmas dinner in many households is often served buffet-style or family-style, with guests serving themselves from shared dishes. But if your family tends to lay out dinner like this during the holidays, you should make an adjustment this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released multiple guidelines that warn against sharing food or utensils as COVID surges. That's because, although the most common way the virus spreads is through droplets from person-to-person contact, the CDC points out that "it is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes."

In fact, the CDC ranked food being served "potluck" or "family-style" as one of the "highest risk" activities this Christmas.

Instead of setting out appetizers, communal salad bowls, or finger foods, ask your guests to bring their own food, not to be shared with anyone else. The CDC suggests hosts "encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only." If you must serve food, the CDC recommends "identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils."

Want to know how else you can keep your Christmas dinner safe as COVID spreads? Keep reading, and for more tips on avoiding the virus, check out If You're Not Doing This, Your Mask Won't Protect You, Study Says.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Use single-use serving options.

Single-use plates and utensils

When you imagine Christmas dinner, you're probably not envisioning plastic forks and packets of dressing. But if you share a meal amid COVID this Christmas, the CDC recommends that you "use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils." Mother nature will have to forgive you for racking up so much single-use plastic at this year's dinner. And for more up-to-date information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Limit the number of people gathering in the kitchen.

Baking gingerbread

At most Christmas meals, the kitchen is the heart of the celebration. However, this year, you need to keep the food prep space clear. While guests will want to offer their assistance in the kitchen, it's best to leave it to just one person to help limit the risk of COVID transmission. The CDC says you should "limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled." And to see which dessert is too risky to serve this Christmas, check out The FDA Says "Please Do Not Eat" This Beloved Dessert Right Now.

Have a touchless garbage.

Touchless garbage

Although this may seem like a silly suggestion, think about how many people put their hands on the garbage when cleaning off their plate. "Use touchless garbage cans if available," recommends the CDC. "Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash" and wash your hands after you take your gloves off. And if your stomach isn't feeling right after your Christmas meal, check out This Is How to Tell If Your Upset Stomach Is COVID, Doctors Say.

Make sure guests store masks away from the food.

Mask in plastic bag

Your guests should all be wearing masks when they arrive, but you don't want their potentially contaminated face coverings anywhere near the table. "All attendees should have a plan for where to store their mask while eating and drinking," says the CDC. They suggest keeping the masks "in a dry, breathable bag (like a paper or mesh fabric bag) to keep [them] clean between uses." And if you're concerned you've caught the coronavirus, check out This Common Feeling Could Be a Sign You Have COVID, Doctors Warn.

Make sure anyone who touches food has washed their hands.

hand washing in a sink
Shutterstock/Natalya Lys

Washing your hands is crucial to avoid not only COVID but many other winter illnesses, like the flu. The CDC advises that you "make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving, and eating food and after taking trash out." And for more on the latest advice from the CDC in regards to the vaccine, check out The CDC Says You Need to Delay Your Vaccination in These 2 Cases.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
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