1. Shannon

    I am so pleased this question was raised – could you possibly elaborate on two fronts: 1) Would you address this with the guest as s/he was clearing (for example, if this guest were “new” to you and not someone with whom you would have a heart-to-heart? And 2) what about guests who “help” by stacking plates at the table? Of course, everyone is simply trying to be helpful, but how do I address this and nip it in the bud?

  2. Country Girl

    I agree with this advice, however I would add I don’t think it’s rude to begin to put buffet items in the fridge 15-20 minutes after service if you inform your guests that they may still help themselves to these items.

    It is a safety no-no to leave many/most food items out for such a long period of time. And it is always good etiquette to watch out for the health and well being of your guests.

    • LC

      Actually, according to several close friends who are chefs, the duration of time which food can be left out and still safely consumed is up to 4 hours. So there is no rush to put items away in the fridge from where many guests would feel uncomfortable helping themselves. This assumes, of course, that you are indoors, not outside in a blazing summer heat with a mayo-based potato salad, or something of that sort.

  3. gardenlady

    stacking plates at the table is really gross. remove the plates, with silverware 1 or 2 at a time, and do the scraping and stacking in the kitchen out of sight of your guests.

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