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How to keep your Super Bowl party from being an icky germ-fest

By Leslie Barker • Feb 5, 2017 at 12:00 PM

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, you no doubt want guests to walk away with happy memories, with the giggles, with their own coats, with wishing the game had gone into overtime so they could stay longer.

You do not want them to stagger away with germs that will keep them up all night and well into the coming week.

With that in mind, Dr. Irvin Sulapas of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, offers some suggestions on keeping your party fun and eliminating the chance of someone calling you the next day from their sickbed.

“The Super Bowl is a very big event, and people from all over the world are going to be in Houston, just like they are for any massive event from a marathon to the Olympics,” says Sulapas, assistant professor of family and community medicine and a primary care sports-medicine physician. “They are going to come in with strains of germs that usually live on our bodies.”

No doubt, some fellow partygoers will ask for a taste of your yummy looking food (or you of theirs). Or maybe you’ll pick up the cup or bottle of someone who hasn’t been feeling well lately and — oops. Before you realize it’s not yours, you’ve chugged a sip or two.

Plus, germs can spread with even the simplest of coughs or incorrectly washing your hands — or, gasp, not washing them at all.

Thus, his tips. They may sound simple, but most certainly bear repeating.

Remember general hand hygiene. Carry hand sanitizer with you and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly — long enough to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Drink your own drink. No mooching.

Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a napkin (which of course you’ll then throw away). Try not to cough on anybody, he advises.

Drink in moderation. Drinking even a little too much, he says, can keep you from making wise decisions (like perhaps whether you should scarf down someone else’s leftover beverage).

I read these in an email and realized there was a big one missing: What about double-dipping? You know, eating a bite of chip, then sticking the rest of it back into the queso or the onion dip. Eew!

He answered this way: “Generally, I would avoid double-dipping chips. The harm of transferring germs really depends on the person and food! Salsa tends to be slightly acidic so it may have a chance to kill some bacteria.”

Here’s my view: Slightly acidic or not, the practice is downright gross.

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©2017 The Dallas Morning News

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