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  • Writer's pictureMarylee

What is a Sneeze Guard and Why is it on my Buffet?

Have you heard of a Sneeze Guard before? Of course I have seen them, but I am not really sure that I knew that is what they were called until we all met COVID-19. Think back to the golden days of Salad bars and Supermarket Hot Food Buffets, and even Raw Bars…The Sneeze Guard is the plastic/Plexiglas shield that stood between you and the food with an opening for you to reach below and serve yourself. Today, we actually see them everywhere. At the bank, and check-out counters of most retail establishments. They have become a part of our new normal to protect the staff on one side and the customer on the other. 

With the use of the Sneeze Guard, many things are possible including the beloved Buffet! Regulations state that the Sneeze Guard must extend 30” above the table height and can have an 8” opening at the bottom that staff are able to serve the food from behind the sneeze guard and then pass the plate to the guest.

(This particular Sneeze Guard is available for rent at Please B Seated. I would be happy to help you arrange to have one for your next event!)

You may have heard in this time of COVID precautions that Buffets are no longer permitted. Well, that is partly true. We can no longer have open self-serve buffets; therefore making the ubiquitous summer BBQ buffet a bit challenging, as well as any buffet you might have planned. 

So the caveat is that you can have a buffet if you have a sneeze guard but it cannot be self-serve, so you will need staff to serve your guests.  It actually is not a bad idea, if you have caught any of my recent posts, it is simply a matter of common sense and good public health and hygiene. Think about how many people touched that set of salad tongs at the grocery store salad bar before you did? Hmm. In the past, most of us never gave that a second thought. COVID has taught us to be much more conscious of our hand hygiene and what we touch and not to touch our face. It’s all about reducing touch points and contact surfaces.

I know there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding Catering and COVID-19 precautions and restrictions.  Most of the information is confusing or not communicated clearly or just plain hard to find. Therefore, I have put together a reference document for you, my clients and friends that will help you navigate, understand and even think “inside the box” regarding how to safely entertain during this time of COVID concerns. I am so excited to share it with you today! It is called “The COVID-19 Catering Can Dos” and you can download your free copy right here. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful. I will continue to update it as the COVID19 situation is fluid and changes happen rapidly, so keep in touch!

It would be my pleasure help arrange a buffet for you with rentals and Sneeze Guards from Please B Seated! Together we can create a plan that will allow you to enjoy the company of your family and friends in a safe, responsible manner. The staff at Events by Marylee are all trained and familiar with the guidelines and would be happy to assist you. We care about the health and safety of you and your guests. Just give us a call! We look forward to hearing from you.


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