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How To Throw a Party Without Getting Sick


Updated August 03, 2009

How To Throw a Party Without Getting Sick

Holiday Dinner Table

Photo © Flickr user groovehouse

If you are hosting a party, especially during cold and flu season, you may want to consider these tips before your event. They may help you ensure that all your guests come and go with their own germs.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Minimal

Here's How:

  1. Use disposable everything. This includes utensils, cups, plates, napkins, tablecloths and bowls. If your party is going to be more formal, using real china and silverware is fine, just be sure to wash everything very well before and after the event.

  2. Specify exactly who is invited. If your party is going to be adults only, make sure that is clear by the invitation. If children will be present at the party, make sure none of them are sick. It is absolutely appropriate to ask sick children to stay at home.

  3. Stock up on soap and make sure everyone knows where to wash up. Point out the bathroom to guests as they arrive so they know where they can wash their hands (among other things).

  4. Provide plenty of tissues, more than you think you will need. It is a good idea to place tissues all around the party area. People may not remember to bring their own, even if they already have a cold.

  5. Provide hand sanitizer next to every box of tissues. This is a visual reminder to keep hands clean without making it a chore to go wash your hands every time you use a tissue. It is much easier, more convenient and every bit as effective as hand washing.

  6. Provide plenty of serving utensils. Make sure there is at least one serving utensil for every platter of food. When people have to pick up food with their hands, they are more likely to leave germs on the food that other people will later eat.

  7. Lead by example. Before food is served, wash your own hands and let someone know that is what you are doing. If the host is doing it, guests are likely to follow suit.


    "Clean Hands Save Lives." Clean Hands Campaign. 26 SEP 2006. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 7 Nov 2006 <http://www.cdc.gov/cleanhands/>.

What You Need

  • Soap
  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Serving Utensils
  • Disposable utensils, plates, cups and napkins. (optional)
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