How to safely host Thanksgiving dinner during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:14 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - If you plan on hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for family or friends, health experts suggest you keep the invites to a minimum.

COVID-19 prevention measures should be a priority, experts say.

Remember to grab a mask before you head out the door, and be sure to stay 6-feet away from other guests.

The host is also encouraged to wear gloves and a mask while preparing food. Health experts also encourage guests to wash their hands often, especially before eating.

Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, director of the Southern University Institute for Food, says hosts should have a place setting spaced 6-feet apart at the table. Guest should wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking she adds.

Just a few days ahead of Thanksgiving, hosts might still be trying to decide if they will use disposable utensils or dinnerware. Dr. Malekian recommends using disposable materials. Dr. Malekian says guests should dispose of paper products immediately after eating in a nearby garbage can. Garbage cans in the kitchen should be moved to an open area so guests cut down on the movement.

However, if a host decides to use real dinnerware, guests should leave the dishes on the table when finished. By leaving the dishes at the table, and not placing them in the sink, Dr. Malekian says this cuts down on the number of people entering the kitchen.

Health experts also recommend that hosts either serve their guests or offer food in single-serving containers. Dr. Malekian says avoid offering buffet-style dinners.

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