Party Food Etiquette

by Lynn
(Indianapolis)

Dear Miss Manners,


During a Christmas party at work, I witnessed several co-workers "breaking pieces" of food in half, on the serving platters, and leaving the other half on the platter. Is this proper etiquette?
I started noticing a trend in this type of behavior during office functions. I asked a co-worker, who "broke off a piece of food" and left it on the platter, why he didn't take all of it and share it with someone at his table? Before he could answer, several co-workers chimed in, "well, he didn't eat off of it, it's still good!" but none of them took the leftover piece! (as a matter of fact, I threw away all of the "broken food pieces" after the party.

Having planned many events, I have never seen such behavior, nor do I think it's appropriate, and it certainley doesn't look appetizing on a beautiful buffet spread!

I too have eyed a dessert when I was full, but I'd ask around if anyone wanted to share it before I went to the buffet to get it. If not, If I just had to have it, i'd get it, eat what I could and save the rest for later. Is "breaking off food" and leaving the other half proper etiquette? The response I got from my co-workers led me to believe I was in the minority...am I wrong?

Signed Ewwww!

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Feb 27, 2010
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Party Food Etiquette
by: GL (Philadelphia)

I often want smaller "sample" sizes of food and since I was taught to "only take what you will eat" I would guess that I may have done "breaking off a piece behavior, too, over the years. Your post has reminded me that perhaps "cutting off a piece " would be more polite and hygienic. As a hostess, maybe serving some mini-helpings along the side of some items would be an option. I think I'll try offering that the next time I have serve a buffet .

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