Hosting a Party When You’re Sick

September 26, 2011 | By | Comments (2)

Unfortunately it seems the changing season has caught up with me, and I woke up yesterday with a cold. It’s nothing too uncomfortable—just a sore throat, minor congestion, and fatigue—but I recently began night school at a culinary institute and the school told students not attend class if with any type of respiratory infection.

I have class tonight, so this policy got me thinking a bit: What if I were having a dinner party?

Back in December, Real Simple’s etiquette and advice columnist Michelle Slatalla answered a reader question about whether or not to eat a casserole from a neighbor who’d had the flu. Michelle said you aren’t obliged to eat the food, but you should thank your neighbor for the kind gesture. On Facebook a few readers suggested discarding the food was a bit too “germophobic” and that many germs would have cooked off anyway.

But what if you had invited a group of people into your home for a dinner party? It seems to me you would have three options: reschedule the party for another night, move the party to a restaurant, or let your guests know and let them make their own decision about whether or not to attend.

What would you do if you were hosting a party and came down with a cold? Or, what would you do if you arrived at a dinner party only to find out that your hostess has the flu?