Safe Serving of Snacks

by blackspanielgallery

Practice safe handling of party food and drinks even after the pandemic ends.

Safe serving of snacks is important, especially since there are so many opportunities to serve them. It could be a small gathering in which everyone practices safety rules. Or it could be an event after the pandemic is over. It could be a small social group that gather on a regular basis, a club meeting, or even a holiday gathering once they are permitted.

The pandemic has changed many things, and handling of food is one of them. Perhaps some of the changes are best to maintain even after the pandemic abates. After all there have been quite a few outbreaks of disease over the years that have been accompanied by fear, a fear that would have been well founded had these prior diseases not been contained.

One thing that we should practice is to not handle food that will be consumed by others. This can be a daunting problem when children lick their fingers after finishing a cookie, then use the licked fingers to search for their favorite kind of cookie that they just know is in that big pile.


Wrapping or bagging snacks is one approach, but it is not without its problems.  Soft food like pies oozing delicious filling or cakes with icing do not wrap well.  What works well with candy or cookies may destroy some other snack foods.


Another problem is people are attracted to what they see.  Filling bags is not always the best way to showcase the snacks available.


Bags give the perception that the serving size has been predetermined.  As a host or hostess, one would not want guests to feel they should limit themselves to what is in a bag.


Even packaged food should be spread out.  People no longer are comfortable picking up something handled by others, even if it is the bag the food is in that was handled.

Think Big

Use large trays to spread the food out.  This way an item can be removed without touching other items.  And there is no need for children to search a pile of goodies.

Use Small Plates when Needed

Cakes and pies are often served by the slice.  There is no practical way to remove a slice of either other than grasping a small plate upon which it rests.

Use Tongs

Tongs work for many things, but not all.  If tongs work there should be enough that each person has tongs for them to use, not one per food item.  This way only one person will handle the tongs they use.


The advantage over small plates if to limit the amount of paper used.  Remember other problems, such as global warming, are still a concern, and overuse of paper or plastic products has negative impacts there.


Set the tongs out well spaced on a serving tray, and have a few extra since people do drop things.


Chips are often eaten with dip.  Have each person take a spoon for use in taking dip.  Set the dip and chips on a tray, and allow dip to be taken into plates. 


Dipping one chip at the source is no longer wise.  Yes, you may need a little more dip since it is hard to judge exactly the amount to add to a plate, but it is the best way.  Years ago, I was attending a faculty party when a colleague dipped a chip, bit from it, then dipped the partial chip into the community bowl.  There are people who double dip.  Dissuade the practice.


Often coffee or tea is offered to guests.  A host or hostess can fill individual cups with hot water.  Then have a tray with packets of flavored instant coffee, packets of a variety of teas, packets of sugar and other sweeteners, and individual servings of cream.  These can all be placed apart on a large serving tray.


Space is your friend, spread things out.  Offer individual items, and a way to obtaining things not handled by others.


Avoiding spreading of germs is not just a pandemic idea, it will serve you well after things return to normal.  Practice party safely, and limit paper usage as well.


This article contains links to affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. As a Zazzle and an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The introduction image is a Zazzle product from my Zazzle creations, and the image on the product is my own.

Updated: 11/19/2020, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 06/24/2022

One problem is that some foods are not good choices. One has new restraints in these times.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/23/2022

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.

In particular, I appreciate your suggestions for dispensing hot water in cups whose contents sanitarily are assured by serving trays with well-spaced coffee packets, creamers, sweeteners and tea bags.

What actually does work with "Soft food like pies oozing delicious filling or cakes with icing" that "do not wrap well"?

blackspanielgallery on 05/01/2021

In the early days of the pandemic people were asked to refrain from picking up items in the supermarkets unless they were buying the item, so handling fruits and vegetables to look them over thoroughly was not recommended.

WriterArtist on 05/01/2021

I cannot agree with you more. Coronavirus pandemic has made things difficult. Not only serving the snacks but also the entire chain of food industry involved to produce and handover the food to the end consumer. All this seems a bit difficult. We as the end customer should sanitize the package etc at home and at least sanitize our hands before we take the snacks and eat if we are taking flights.

blackspanielgallery on 11/20/2020

On the television I keep hearing use individual packs of chips, etc., but that is a partial solution if you do not have a way of preventing a person from handling the bags. Also, small bags are often 2 servings.

Mira on 11/20/2020

Yes, it looks like even the tongs would have to be multiple because if you handle something used by another person . . . well, it's a problem. It will be hard though for some things to change, but you have highlighted some important issues.

blackspanielgallery on 11/19/2020

We learn and apply things elsewhere where they fit.

Veronica on 11/19/2020

Great ideas BSG and as you say ,
"Perhaps some of the changes are best to maintain even after the pandemic abates."
I particularly like the idea of each Person having a spoon for dips.

Covid 19 has taught us not to become too compacent with hygiene.

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