As October rolls away into November and another page falls off the calendar, Halloween fears become a time to give thanks. Children are coming home with hand-painted turkeys and pies are being baked, giving off an aroma that wafts through the house. Toward the end of the month, everyone will gather their loved ones close and share a meal in remembrance of the past year and all its trials and tribulations.
All generations will gather around the table to share turkey (or tofurkey for our vegetarian friends) mashed potatoes and gravy. And with all that holiday spirit and good cheer, you might be inclined to let a few small things go. Like whether or not everyone has properly washed their hands. It might feel rude to ask directly, but Reese’s Pinworm is here to tell you: sometimes, to be a bad host to communicable infections like Pinworm, you have to be a good host to your guests.
BAD HOSTING RULE #1
When thinking about food safety around thanksgiving, most people are concerned about the internal temperature of their turkey. And that’s a righteous concern! No one wants to have someone leave their dinner table with an upset stomach.
But Pinworm and communicable infections like them thrive around areas of shared food. According to Mount Sanai hospital in New York, “Pinworm eggs are spread directly from person to person. They can also be spread by touching bedding, food, or other items that are contaminated with the eggs.”
Since Pinworm enters your system through the mouth, food is a particular area of concern! Make sure to use serving utensils to reduce the number of hands touching any particular shared food.
BAD HOSTING RULE #2
Clear and direct communication can be hard, and can sometimes be mistaken for rudeness. It might not feel like very “good host” behavior. Maybe you’re a little nervous to ask a family member if they’ve washed their hands.
But, FoodSaftey.gov tells us, “Handwashing is the first step to protect you and everyone around your Thanksgiving table. It’s also the best way to keep uninvited guests like bacteria out of your kitchen.”
If you, or someone else – the cook for instance – is spending a lot of time touching food make sure they are washing their hands regularly. We’re going to make it easy and give you Food Safety’s 5 steps to properly washing your hands when handling food.
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel.
BAD HOSTING RULE #3
If you’ve managed to be a bad host so far then it’s more than likely your guests won’t have to worry about the results of poor food safety.
However, even the worst hosts among us – the ones who make you take your shoes off outside in the snow, or have assigned seating for a dinner of four – can’t realistically cover all the bases all the time.
If anyone ends up suffering from Pinworm despite your best efforts you can turn to Reese’s Pinworm Medicine as an over-the-counter solution so you can focus on what’s important, giving thanks.