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-   -   I'm rethinking potluck meals (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=892617)

Urbanredneck 03-26-2020 09:55 AM

I'm rethinking potluck meals
 
I've always liked potluck meals but this new virus has me thinking how much we put trust in the next person.

And it can easily happen. Two years ago my mother was making green bean casserole for Thanksgiving and accidentally used fried onions from a box that had gone stale.

Should we rethink potlucks?

naita 03-26-2020 10:06 AM

Stale fried onions are not much of a health risk. If we want to reduce risks of disease there are much more important changes to be made than not having potlucks.

Like not handing oversight of the pork industry over to the industry itself. Not only are steps like these much more efficient and important. Unlike not trusting your neighbors not to poison you they don't negatively effect the customer beyond a minor increase in price, that drowns in natural fluctuations anyway.

Thudlow Boink 03-26-2020 10:09 AM

It's not directly related to the Coronavirus, because that's not food-borne. But yeah, eating at a potluck does require a certain amount of trust that the people who bring food will have followed basic health and safety procedures.

I've never experienced any ill effects from eating potluck food. But I suspect someone reading this will have a horror story to contribute.

Telemark 03-26-2020 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urbanredneck (Post 22211823)
Should we rethink potlucks?

You should always consider food safety no matter who is preparing your food. Potlucks are just one example, but none of this is related to Covid-19.

ratatoskK 03-26-2020 10:16 AM

You shouldn't even be associating with other people, much less hosting potluck get-togethers.

Thudlow Boink 03-26-2020 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ratatoskK (Post 22211888)
You shouldn't even be associating with other people, much less hosting potluck get-togethers.

Well, yeah. I assumed the OP was talking about when things get back to normal.

But now you've got me thinking about how to do some sort of "social distancing potluck." Everybody puts their dish on a big table one at a time, and everyone stands back 6 feet while people take turns going in and loading up their plates? Leave a dish of food on a neighbor's doorstep, so they can take a serving, add their own dish, and pass along to the next person?

dropzone 03-26-2020 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urbanredneck (Post 22211823)
I've always liked potluck meals...

Quick! Someone take Urban's temperature! The Covid's driven him mad! :dubious:

iamthewalrus(:3= 03-26-2020 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 22211863)
I've never experienced any ill effects from eating potluck food. But I suspect someone reading this will have a horror story to contribute.

Like 10 people got food poisoning at a preschool potluck a while back. My family survived unscathed. At the next potluck, there were a lot of people just eating what they had brought.

Green Bean 03-26-2020 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 22211914)
Well, yeah. I assumed the OP was talking about when things get back to normal.

But now you've got me thinking about how to do some sort of "social distancing potluck." Everybody puts their dish on a big table one at a time, and everyone stands back 6 feet while people take turns going in and loading up their plates? Leave a dish of food on a neighbor's doorstep, so they can take a serving, add their own dish, and pass along to the next person?

With people breathing or coughing on to the food while they take their serving? No thanks.

Iím not a fan of potlucks anyway, especially if the participants arenít given guidance as to what type of thing they should bring so you end up with 18 lasagnas and no salad.

Procrustus 03-26-2020 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Green Bean (Post 22212048)
... you end up with 18 lasagnas and no salad.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

[I don't like potlucks either, unless I can just bring a bottle of wine]

actualliberalnotoneofthose 03-26-2020 11:26 AM

Well, yeah, but you could apply this to a meal prepared anywhere by anyone including by yourself in your own home.

Dewey Finn 03-26-2020 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= (Post 22212037)
Like 10 people got food poisoning at a preschool potluck a while back. My family survived unscathed. At the next potluck, there were a lot of people just eating what they had brought.

Where do you think the name comes from? You're lucky if you don't get sick.

Voyager 03-26-2020 02:21 PM

I'm more worried about food sitting out than being improperly prepared. And I wouldn't eat anything underdone.
My mother poisoned a bunch of people in the late 1940s, including a high level Queens County judge, from a macaroni salad that was out too long. So it happens.

running coach 03-26-2020 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 22212076)
Where do you think the name comes from? You're lucky if you don't get sick.

I thought it meant you were lucky to get any pot.

thorny locust 03-26-2020 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Green Bean (Post 22212048)
I’m not a fan of potlucks anyway, especially if the participants aren’t given guidance as to what type of thing they should bring so you end up with 18 lasagnas and no salad.

I was at a potluck once at which almost everyone had brought potato salad.

One of the best meals I've ever had. I love potato salad, and everybody had a different version, and they were all good.

Admittedly, if it had been lasagna I'd have had a problem. I don't like most lasagnas. But I like potlucks. And I've never gotten sick from one. Maybe it depends on who you hang out with; though I've been to potlucks organized (for some sense of the word organized) by some drastically different batches of people.

ETA: I should note that the word has different meanings in different places. To anybody confused by the thread: in a lot of places, a "potluck" is a gathering at which everybody brings a dish to pass around, and everybody takes some of whatever dish appeals to them. Some potlucks assign dishes -- 'you bring a salad, you bring some bread' -- others just take their chances as to what shows up. To some people, however, "potluck" means you got invited to somebody's house on the spur of the moment, and dinner is the luck of whatever happened to be in the pot for the family dinner anyway; they didn't plan anything in particular for you.

RioRico 03-26-2020 09:09 PM

Other than some church potlucks (holy moly!) the most we've dared were the power-outage freezer-thaw parties when we lived on a woody hill that was an island in flood season. Word is passed around: be at xxx place at tt:tt time. A contractor brings his generator; neighbors bring charcoal and foods about to defrost. Any potato salad is made on the spot. Everything else is cooked then and there. No geologists or vintners are poisoned.

That was not in plague season. I'd avoid picnics and potlucks now because likelihood of infection, not indigestion.

Okay, the meta-question: Can we trust people feeding us more than people breathing on us? I'll call that a flaky comparison. One likely won't infect anyone after leaving a non-plague potluck while COVID hosts may not know they're contagious for quite a while, if ever, and so can infect many. Assume breathers are all carriers; stay distant.

Sterilize that mystery potato salad with microwaves. It's only prudent.

Ellecram 03-26-2020 09:53 PM

Virtual potluck. Just pass around videos of each other eating what they made.

nearwildheaven 03-26-2020 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Green Bean (Post 22212048)
With people breathing or coughing on to the food while they take their serving? No thanks.

Iím not a fan of potlucks anyway, especially if the participants arenít given guidance as to what type of thing they should bring so you end up with 18 lasagnas and no salad.

I once attended a potluck that consisted of a pork loin made by the hostess, and 18 desserts. :smack:

iamthewalrus(:3= 03-27-2020 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 22213394)
I once attended a potluck that consisted of a pork loin made by the hostess, and 18 desserts. :smack:

We occasionally attend a weekly potluck that's totally freeform. The only rule is that the host makes something plentiful and hearty enough that if no one else brings anything substantial, we won't starve. It's always an adventure.

I almost always bring a vegetable dish to potlucks. Cooked or not, salad or not. A potluck with seven different types of salads is a winner in my opinion.


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