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According to The Los Angeles Times, so you like holiday parties, but not being bed-ridden with food-borne illnesses? A University of Missouri researcher has some advice for you.

Associate professor of food science Andrew Clarke, who has presumably attended some bad Christmas gatherings, says holiday parties are a virtual petri dish of microbes and bacteria. You needn’t substitute your festive spirit to avoid unnecessary risks.

For one thing, be wary of buffet lines and serving tables. Food here tends to stay out for a long time. For many foods, two hours is the maximum amount of time that it can be out and safe to eat.

Egg nog, with its raw eggs, is particularly dangerous. Make sure you know its refrigeration history before you imbibe.

Also, avoid the double-dipper. George Costanza’s rival on Seinfeld was right. Double-dipping isn’t just tacky, it’s a good way to spread germs. So if you see someone dip, take a bite and dip again – just keep walking.

And if you take any leftovers home with you, remain vigilant. Clarke says most leftovers are good if refrigerated up to four days.

So be careful out there; the holidays are no time to let your guard down.

Stomach illnesses are no fun during the holidays and can be horrible during plastic surgery recovery. Dr. O’Toole’s patients who have had surgeries including liposuction, abdominoplasty, and even breast augmentation are encouraged to have a plan for returning to a regular diet. It is important to remember that foods left at room temperature for patients recovering in bed can easily spoil. Patients who eat these foods could contract food poisoning which would cause a very unpleasant recovery experience. Some patients use small refrigerators  in their bedrooms to keep food fresh during their initial recovery phase.

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