As the U.S. continues to experience an uptick in COVID-19 cases, it’s crucial that Americans continue to take precautions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and keep those who are at a higher risk of severe health complications safe. Unfortunately, that may mean canceling holiday gatherings altogether this year.
The safest way to celebrate is at home with the individuals who live in your household, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you do plan to host or attend a meal with family or friends, here are some tips to help you stay as safe as possible when you eat. (For more on how to stay healthy, this is The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)
Bring your own food.
Bringing your own food, drinks, and condiments and enjoying them on your own plates, cups, utensils, and napkins is a good way to promote social distancing. It also limits guests from touching the same items. If you’re traveling over the holidays, pack your own meals and snacks.
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Stay away from the kitchen.
“When it comes to winter holidays, food traditions are often an important part of celebrations,” the CDC says. “There is no evidence that handling or eating food spreads COVID-19, but it is always important to follow food safety practices.”
One of these best practices is to avoid entering the kitchen or other rooms where food is being handled or prepared. Speaking of kitchen news, there’s currently a shortage of this cooking tool.
Opt for single-use items.
Though less healthy for the environment, disposable utensils are your best option this holiday season. Using single packets of condiments, salad dressing, and salt and pepper reduces the number of items you or someone else is touching in addition to food containers, plates, and utensils.
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Use a no-touch garbage can.
Another way to reduce the number of people touching things at a holiday gathering is to use a garbage can without any bells and whistles. If you do have to touch this kitchen item, washing your hands afterward, or at least using hand sanitizer, is a must.
How dirty are trash cans compared to other items in your kitchen, anyway?
Open windows—or gather outside.
We’re all dreaming of a white Christmas, and one way to keep a gathering socially distanced is to host it outside. Masks should still be worn, and if the weather doesn’t allow for a (bundled) event outdoors, make sure to open windows for airflow.
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