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Sharing Holiday Fun with Food – Safely

Food & Community Safety Program Supervisor Christina Sherman
by Christina Sherman12/19/2017 10:30 a.m.
Updated: 01/04/2019
The holidays are here! For many of us, including me, that means spending time with family and eating lots of delicious food. It also means it's Norovirus season.
Known by a variety of nicknames like stomach bug or stomach flu, Norovirus is very contagious. It can spread person to person or from eating food someone who was sick made. Common symptoms of Norovirus include vomiting and diarrhea.
We want to make sure everyone can enjoy the holidays and avoid foodborne illness. Follow these steps to protect you and your family this season:


  1. Don't make food when you are sick. Stay home and don't prepare food yourself. Have someone else do it for you or send someone to buy something already made.
  2. Wash your hands often. Especially after using the bathroom. Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Remind your kitchen helpers to wash their hands often, too.
  3. Keep small children out of the kitchen. Kitchens can be a dangerous place for little ones. It's also a dangerous place for cross-contamination. Remind everyone to care for children—including diaper changing—outside of the kitchen.
  4. If hiring a caterer, ask them for their catering permit. Splurging for a caterer can be exciting, but be sure you are making a wise investment. Only hire caterers that can show you their health department catering permit. They have the right equipment to make your food safely in commercial kitchens that we inspect.
When you follow these tips, you can prevent foodborne illness. Remember, food poisoning is one bad gift. It’s quite expensive. You can share—but you can't return.
For more information about how to share the gift of safe food this holiday season, visit

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  1. Updated: 01/04/2019
  2. Updated: 01/03/2019
  3. Updated: 02/06/2018
Food & Community Safety Program Supervisor Christina Sherman

by Christina Sherman

Christina wants you to practice safe food--because safe food is healthy food!


We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.