Slay the Holiday Potluck by Avoiding These Dish Choices
As the holiday season approaches, invitations to holiday potlucks are plentiful, and your calendar fills up with year-end celebrations. If you’re considering bringing a dish to share at these events, it’s important to take precautions to ensure the safety of the food you prepare. The goal is to avoid any potential health risks associated with the consumption of your dish.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines various foodborne illnesses, including norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, and Staphylococcus aureus. Awareness of these risks becomes even more important when considering vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children under 5, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. Additionally, food allergens and individual allergies must be considered when selecting a dish for a potluck.
Foods to avoid bringing to the potluck.
HuffPost has collaborated with food safety experts to compile a list of potentially risky foods for holiday potlucks. According to their experts, people may unknowingly experience mild cases of food poisoning, resulting in stomachaches. The risk of illness extends to anyone if harmful pathogens are present in the food.
Highlighted on their list are baked potatoes in aluminum foil. The cooling process of foil-wrapped potatoes creates an environment for the growth of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum due to low oxygen levels. While aluminum foil is deemed safe for baking, the recommendation is to remove the foil before the potato reaches the danger temperature zone, as advised by StateFoodSafety.
Another item of concern on the list is mayonnaise-based salads. Additonally, potato salad, egg salad, and macaroni salad are considered potential sources of foodborne illness due to proteins or cooked carbohydrates that can lead to sickness if not chilled.
Fish is also discouraged at potlucks due to allergy concerns. Steamed fish or seafood can release protein particles into the air, potentially triggering allergic reactions.
See what other foods you should avoid bringing to a potluck here.