Fear of Omicron is killing festive finger food: Party hosts will ditch dips, nuts and canapés at Christmas buffets and ask people to sanitise their hands on arrival, survey reveals

  • While plans for the festive season are still in place, many say that they will alter the foods they serve to counter the Omnicron threat. 
  • To prevent spread of the virus, traditional grazing foods such as dips, canapes and bite-sized hors D’oeuvres have been removed from festive events.
  • INEOS Hygienics questioned 63% of those surveyed and they said that finger food would be avoided at Christmas parties.
  • A third of host said that they would ask guests to wash their hands upon arrival 

Festive sharing is coming to Christmas parties. However, many host are wary about festive buffets because they fear Omicron (a Covid variant) could infect them.  

The latest version of the yuletide classics such as dips, nuts and olives are set to be cut.  

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is yet to put Christmas festivities on hold until more is known about Omicron, saying UK cases are ‘very low’ –  but a new survey this week suggests that 63 per cent of UK adults will give finger foods a wide berth at upcoming parties this year. 

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Buffets may be a festive staple but this year party hosts are ditching sharing platters - including nuts, olives, canapes and dips - over fears that it could help spread new Covid variant Omnicron

While buffets might be an annual tradition, this year’s party hosts will not serve sharing platters.

The leading provider of hygiene solutions, INEOS Hygienics conducted the study and questioned 223 adults about their party plans.

A little over half of those surveyed said that they would be worried if there was a party with a buffet, as it could lead to more contact between guests. 

Another finding was that 24 percent of the people in the study will request their relatives and friends to wash their hands frequently during holiday get-togethers. 

George Ratcliffe is Chief Operating Officer at INEOS Hygienics. He stated that he was facing a problem this holiday season with what to feed our guests or the food you should expect if your family members are visiting or if they’re going to an office party.  

“Finger food” has been around for a long time, but people are now more aware of the risk of spreading diseases to family members and coworkers. Hand hygiene is essential for protecting yourself and others. 

Some dishes that may be excluded from the buffet menu are snacks like canapes, dips and nuts as well salads, mini-burgers and popcorn. People said that boards of Mediterranean-style Antipasti come with some risk. 

Partie hosts claim they will offer individually wrapped items, including nuts and crisps to avoid buffet woes. Only 20% of hosts said they would continue offering treats like pineapple sticks and ham.  

One in seven people said that they wouldn’t serve food to guests if they hosted them. 

One in five respondents said they would ask for snacks to be brought to the event. 15% of respondents stated that their top priority was to keep family and friends safe during the holiday season. 

Israeli researchers claim that Pfizer’s booster shot protects against Omicron-related severe illnesses up to 90%

Israeli health officials claim that Omicron should not be spread to people who have had their booster Pfizer Covid vaccination or who received their second jab in the last six months.

Nitzan Horowitz, the Health Minister said Tuesday without citing data that there is ‘room to be optimistic’ on the basis of ‘initial indicators’.

An Israeli news channel reported that the Pfizer jab had been 90 percent effective in preventing Omicron symptoms, just slightly more than Delta.

Channel 12 also claimed the super mutant is just 1.3 times more infectious than the dominant Delta variant — much lower than initially feared.  

Two new Omicron variants were discovered in Israel. This brings the total number of Omicron variant cases to four. The country closed its borders to foreigners at midnight on Sunday to stem the spread of the new strain.

On Tuesday, Mr Horowitz stated to local journalists: “In the next days we will have better information about Omicron’s efficacy.

“But there is still reason to believe, as there are first indications that anyone who has been given a valid vaccine booster or a vaccine, can be protected from this variant.  

Yesterday night, the Health Ministry spokesperson stated it wasn’t yet in possession the information published by Channel 12  

These comments came after BioNTech co-founder and developer of the Pfizer jab said he was certain it would stand up to Omicron.