The other biggest blunders include talking with a full mouth and touching food and putting it back.

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After holiday plans were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, many people are gathering again (thanks to health safety measures such as vaccines and face masks) to sit down with loved ones and eat delicious food. Although the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are sure to be as tasty as ever this Thanksgiving, there is a downside to turkey day. Most people admit to committing at least one food-related party foul, according to a survey published in November 2019.

Wakefield Research conducted the survey for California-based rice producer Lundberg Family Farms and asked 1,000 adult Americans about their social etiquette. The majority of respondents (61%, to be exact) admitted that they had committed a party faux pas in the past. Perhaps the most unsettling statistic is 36% of people said they've double-dipped. Interestingly, 48% of those surveyed said double-dipping is more likely to get them uninvited from future events compared to forgetting the host's name.

Overhead of a Thanksgiving table with turkey and several side dishes
Credit: Karla Conrad

Sure, double dunking is reasonably gross, but it isn't the only issue. Almost half of the respondents, 47%, admit to talking with their mouth full, 28% confessed to touching food and putting it back, and nearly 25% said they've coughed or sneezed on food. Unfortunately, for those who have committed these blunders, their actions won't be forgotten anytime soon. A little more than half of the respondents said they remembered a guest's blunder from a year ago, and 20% recall one from more than five years ago.

However, the (slightly) good news is that partygoers are aware of potential mishaps and will make an effort to avoid them. The majority of those surveyed (64%) say they actively do things to negate a slip-up, including 26% of people revealing they won't eat messy foods, 19% opting to eat alone, and 25% saying they don't eat at all. The most likely group of people to not dig in are Gen Zers (39%), millennials (26%), followed by baby boomers (24%).

It's important to note that this survey was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic, so hopefully, many people have improved their party behavior. Although it's good to be informed of these party faux pas, you shouldn't have to forego your favorite food or skip snacking at your holiday soirees. Just remember proper etiquette, including no double-dipping, sneezing or coughing on food, or talking with a full mouth, for starters, and you'll be an all-star attendee.

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