How to Host a Healthy Holiday Event

With infectious diseases dominating headlines while flu clinics make their annual office rounds, the spread of germs has landed top of mind for many as we enter the bustling holiday season. Below are 5 simple precautions anyone preparing a holiday gathering can take to ensure their events are not gateways for infection.

Wash Your Hands

We all know hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of germs, but it becomes even more critical when dealing with food and drink. While germs are quite easily and quickly passed by food, the spread is easily prevented by ensuring whoever is responsible for handling food is washing their hands regularly. If you find yourself in the throws of sickness with drippy, leaky symptoms the day of a planned event, it would be wise to use a respectable caterer to handle this side of things.

Use Serving Utensils

All dishes of food meant for sharing should have proper serving utensils. This is especially critical when preparing for a gathering that includes children. Little hands are next to impossible to keep clean and free of germs at all times,  so make sure utensils are easy to grasp and hold by little ones – especially those bowls of irresistible candies and nuts!

Serve Single Portions

Offering single portions is an effective way of reducing the number of hands that come into contact with food. Eliminate the dreaded double dip by offering sauces in individual containers. Hummus and raw veggies for example make excellent individual snacks – simply place carrot sticks vertically inside a single serving of hummus. Pinterest is a great place for ideas!

Distinguish Your Drinks

Glasses of wine and punch are staples at any holiday gathering, but accidentally sharing glasses can lead to the unintentional sharing of germs. Distinguishing glasses with charms and offering different styles and colours of glassware can help guests identify their own drink.

Be Prepared

Gently reminding guests to use serving utensils and having kleenex boxes and hand sanitizer in plain sight is not only helpful for guests but expected of a responsible host. It would be slightly obnoxious to announce “Food is about to be served, time to wash your hands!” but having small reminders around your home or event space is a mere nudge and makes the unspoken recommendation difficult to ignore.

Holiday gatherings are held for spreading good cheer, not germs! Keep these health tips in mind over in the upcoming months and enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season!

For information on how to effectively start and run a Meeting and Event planning business, see our recent title on the subject by Shannon Lach, the owner and principal planner of New York-based event planning company PEAR.

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