Try these ideas instead of a potluck

Try these ideas instead of a potluck

Potlucks have traditionally been a fun way to connect with friends, family and even coworkers while also experiencing an array of delicious goodies. But COVID-19 has many people wondering – just how unsanitary are potlucks?

“It seems obvious, but at potlucks, serving utensils are shared by anyone partaking,” explains Dr. Jacqueline Koski, family medicine physician at Aurora Health Center in Neenah, WI. “With that comes the inevitability of picking up – and possibly ingesting – various harmful substances, and a somewhat decent chance of getting sick.”

While potlucks are not advised during a pandemic, thankfully there are other ways you can get your treat and socialization fix, whether at home or at the office. Consider these potluck alternatives:

  • Organize a goodie exchange at work or in the neighborhood. First, send an invitation via social media or email to colleagues or neighbors to participate. Then, explain the details to invitees: Prepackage a few of shareable treats in several individual grab-and-go containers. If at work, designate a table in the breakroom for team members to pop in and take back to their workstations, if able to do so. If at home, collect the addresses of neighbors and do a doorstep drop off (bonus points if you walk the neighborhood when you deliver).
  • Set up an email recipe exchange. While not quite the same as someone else cooking or baking for you, this gives you the opportunity to try something tasty and new in your own home.
  • Set up a virtual lunchtime. If you love potlucks for the socializing, then a virtual lunchtime is perfect for you. Send an invitation via email or social media to eat lunch “together” and chat with friends, family, or coworkers during their lunch breaks.
  • Bring your own lunch outside. Set up a social-distancing lunchtime outdoors. You’ll get fresh air and get to chat with friends or coworkers at a distance, all while enjoying your own lunch.

“If you’re doing something that requires an in-person interaction, don’t forget to socially distance and wear a mask, where appropriate,” says Dr. Koski. “The pandemic is forcing us to rethink the way we do potlucks, but getting a little creative and thinking outside the box can be just as enjoyable as the real deal.”

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About the Author

Brianna Wunsch
Brianna Wunsch

Brianna Wunsch, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator for Advocate Aurora Health with a BA in public affairs from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. In her free time, Brianna enjoys living an active lifestyle through biking, hiking and working out at the gym, but even more than that, she especially loves spending quality time with her two cats (Arthur and Loki), son and husband.