Omicron fear is wiping out holiday snacks: Party hosts will drop sauces, nuts and canapes on Christmas buffets and ask people to sanitize their hands upon arrival, survey reveals
- Plans for the holiday season are still underway, but many people say they will change the food they serve as fears of the Omnicron variant mount.
- Traditional grass-fed foods, such as bite-size canapes, sauces and hors d’oeuvres, are removed from the menu at holiday gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Sixty-three percent of people questioned by hygiene solutions provider INEOS Hygienics said they would avoid snacking around the holidays.
- And a third of the hosts said they would ask guests to sanitize their hands upon arrival.
The holiday party season is about to begin … but festive food to share could be off the menu for many hosts, after people said they would be wary of buffet food for fear of catching the new variant of Covid, Omicron.
Bite-sized holiday favorites – including walnuts, olives, crisps, canapes, and dips – seem ready to be nibbled as concerns about the latest variant grow.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has yet to suspend the Christmas festivities until more is known about Omicron, saying the UK cases are ‘very low’, but a new poll this week suggests that 63 per One hundred of UK adults will give a wide margin to snacks at upcoming parties this year.
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Buffets can be a festive staple, but this year the party hosts are ditching dishes to share, which include nuts, olives, canapes and sauces, out of fear that they may help spread the word about Covid’s newest variant, Omnicron.
The study was carried out by the leading provider of hygiene solutions, INEOS Hygienics, and asked 2,023 adults about their plans for the traditional holiday season.
About 58 percent of people said they would feel concerned seeing a buffet at the party, assuming it would lead to closer contact with guests.
The study also suggested that nearly a quarter of people, 24 percent, will ask their friends and family to frequently sanitize their hands during Christmas gatherings.
George Ratcliffe, COO of INEOS Hygienics, said: “ This holiday season we are faced with a dilemma over what to feed guests or what food to expect if visiting family or heading to the office party.
Snacks have been popular for a long time, but now people are more aware of transmitting viruses to loved ones and colleagues. “Hand hygiene is an essential tool to protect ourselves and those around us.”
Dishes that might be off the menu include buffet staples like chips, nuts, canapes, and sauces, as well as salads, mini burgers, and popcorn. Mediterranean-style antipasti boards now also come with a risky side part, the people said.
Party hosts say they will avoid buffet hassles by offering individually wrapped items like chips and nuts, and only 20 percent of hosts say they will continue to offer delicacies like ham and pineapple sticks.
Elsewhere, one in seven said people would leave hungry after admitting they won’t serve food, they will only drink if they’re the host.
The survey also found that a BYO approach could work: One in five said they would ask people to bring the snacks they’d like to nibble on. Overall, 15 percent said their “first priority” was keeping friends and family safe during the holiday season.
Israeli Scientists Claim Pfizer’s Booster Jab Provides Up To 90% Protection Against Serious Illnesses Caused By Omicron
People who receive a Pfizer Covid booster vaccine or who received their second injection in six months should be highly protected against Omicron, say Israeli health chiefs.
Without citing any data, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Tuesday that there was “room for optimism” based on “initial indications.”
Just hours later, a report by an Israeli news channel claimed that the Pfizer hit was 90 percent effective in preventing Omicron’s symptomatic infection, only slightly less than Delta.
Channel 12 also claimed that the super mutant is only 1.3 times more infectious than the dominant Delta variant, much lower than initially feared.
The news comes after two new cases of the Omicron variant were identified in Israel, bringing the total to four. The country closed its borders to foreigners at midnight Sunday to stop the spread of the new strain.
Horowitz told local journalists on Tuesday: “In the coming days we will have more precise information on the efficacy of the Omicron vaccine.
“But there is already room for optimism, and there are initial indications that those vaccinated with a still valid vaccine or with a booster will also be protected from this variant.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said last night that it was not yet in possession of the data published by Channel 12.
But the comments come after the BioNTech co-founder, which developed the Pfizer jab, said he was confident it would hold up against Omicron.