We had a large bowl of chips at my nephew's graduation party, and then thought we shouldn't just let people grab out of the bowl or should we? never think about it when its just family, but this about 150 people. we put a large spoon in, but that didn't really work,
what have you done or seen done? does it bother you if people are sticking their hands in the chips before you?
Never thought about it before but I guess at potlucks the chips are just put in a bowl to serve. It never bothered me. But, if you wanted to use something other than a spoon to serve how about a scissor type pair of salad tongs, light plastic ones? I bet people would still just use their hands though.
I always put the chips (potato, tortilla, etc.) in a large bowl next to the dip or spread. Yes, people reach in and grab with their hands. This is the way everyone does it around here.
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If someone has the time to mess with it, you could portion the chips into cupcake papers and set they on a tray. Many portions could be put out if you stack one layer on top of the bottom one.
I have a "thing" about people's hands...are they clean, what have they touched. My coworkers laugh at me because I usually have candy out for everyone, and if it's unwrapped, like M&Ms or something, I put a spoon in the bowl. Most people get the hint.
I found a clear glass pitcher with a cork in the top that I put peanut M&Ms in. Easy to pour out in your hand. I don't know about potato chips though. I might be tempted to put them in muffin cups or whatever, but that would be a lot of work.
Wide tongs are what we use where I worked but unless you put individual servings out you will get some using their hands. Especially young people like graduates. Can't be helped.
The best way around this problem is to buy the snack size individual bags of chips. They cost more but are worth the possibilty of spreading illness.
You can also "make your own" snack bags by getting the large size potato chip bags and putting a serving in a plastic sandwich bag. You can seal each one shut and they could be stacked in a large bowl or container. It is more economical than buying the snack bags. Each person could just grab a bag and nobody would touch the chips.
I think that if anyone is that concerned about disease being spread, or worried about where someone's hands may have been, they probably wouldn't eat the chips anyway. The only other thing I can see, is just not serving them at all.
PS When I serve them for a group, they're dumped into a bowl and everyone gets on with it.
Generally speaking the only chips they will be touching are the ones that their hand grasps to put on their own plate. It's highly unlikely any contamination would come from grabbing chips and considering potato chips have been around 'possibly' the 1700's but for sure, 1853, and it's not been a problem yet, I'm not too worried about it. *wink*
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