The key to having a holly, jolly Christmas? Or a super Super Bowl party? Or celebrating with friends at any occasion when tempting snacks are served? Knowing what food and drink to avoid before you sit down to dinner with loved ones. Take the angst out of holiday meals and put the focus back on celebrating by vowing to keep these foods off your plate this season:
We know we don’t have to tell you to steer clear of the bar area – but it’s wise to be extra vigilant about the drinks you sip this holiday. Use caution when pouring mulled apple cider and eggnog, as both have the potential to be unpasteurized and contain alcohol. What’s the fuss about unpasteurized cider or eggnog? Both can be a source of listeria, a harmful bacteria that could cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and nausea. While listeria presents no threat to healthy adults, to a pregnant woman, the resulting sickness can prove fatal for her unborn child. So, be sure to ask your host about the night’s beverages before you raise a glass with family and friends.
Charcuterie and cheese plate
When it comes to this assortment of cold, cured meats and myriad cheeses, it’s best to pass the tray on to your fellow party-goers. Smoked meats and deli slices – along with soft cheeses like brie and camembert – can contain the harmful bacteria listeria mentioned above. Play it extra safe this holiday season by skipping out on any hard cheeses that share the same plate, as you’ll want to be wary of cross-contamination.
Be aware that smoked seafood is yet another potential source of listeria. If you’re tempted by a seafood appetizer, ask your hostess for a peek at the dish’s packaging. You’ll want to avoid any items labeled as lox, jerky, nova style or kippered. Here’s some good news: Feel free to nibble away at cooked dishes containing smoked seafood. If a meal’s been through the oven, it’s most likely safe to eat, as the heat will kill off any harmful bacteria.
Of course we don’t expect your party hosts to be serving up raw eggs this holiday season – but there may be a dish or two on the table that contains raw or undercooked eggs and you’ll certainly want to avoid them. Consuming raw eggs increases your risk for food borne illnesses, mainly salmonella, which could be harmful to your little one. Pull your host aside and inquire about chocolate mousse, custards, homemade ice cream, meringues, Hollandaise sauce or Caesar dressing.