no more buffets for me!

typical buffet - This is a typical set-up of a restaurant buffet table. nice to have the sneeze guards in place to ward off respiratory borne illnesses, but what about hand to hand transfers by using the same utensils over and over person to person?`
@Modestah (11192)
United States
August 13, 2007 10:32am CST
the last time we were traveling a great distance we decided to stop in for a buffet as a break and relaxation from all the driving. we all filed into the bathroom to wash our hands and refresh ourselves a bit before sitting to meal. as I went and served myself, I grabbed the serving utensil and it occurred to me...... just how many people have grabbed that utensil before me! how many that did not wash their hands before eating, how many that did not wash their hands after using the privy? I was so disturbed by the thought that I lost a good portion of my appetite. no more buffets for me!! unless I disinfect the utensils prior to serving!!! lol. am I becoming neurotic?
3 people like this
13 responses
@Rickrocks8 (1751)
• United States
13 Aug 07
I work at my kids school so I have to take food saftey classes....you wouldn't eat out at all if you knew what I did! EEEKKKS I even have issues at people's houses. And well they tend to get offended if you inform them they just cross contaminated. eeeks I guess I should just stay at home!
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
15 Aug 07
I would llike to learn more about this type of safety..can you educate us or send us to a place to learn about it? Thanks
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 07
Here is a great web site you can ask questions and look at what other people have asked. http://en.allexperts.com/q/Food-Safety-Issues-767/ Alot of food saftey is pretty simple. This may blow your mind but at all the classes I have taken the one thing they stress is there is no such thing as a 24 hour flu it is a food born illness. That is scary isnt it?
@DanaMark (807)
• United States
16 Aug 07
I never thought about the serving utensils. I guess we do all touch them to get our food. I'm not sure how I will feel next time I go to a buffet. You may have ruined it for me. lol.
1 person likes this
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
16 Aug 07
yup, you're a fruit loop like me...hehe. If I go to buffets, I always carry the germ disinfecting gel. It is in a small bottle and I use it before starting to eat my own meal, after I have served my food. If I start to think about all the people either coughing, sneezing, picking up and putting back, I would never eat out again !!!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
16 Aug 07
Good thing I don't go to buffet restaurants so I don't have an issue about it. With regards to germs, well, they're all around and we can't be all germ-free. Even our house is full of germs. The nice thing is that our body is created in such a way that it can keep some bacteria away. So rubbing elbows with some germs in body is not that gross :)
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
15 Aug 07
Buffets and salad bars at the grocery store are usually not the cleanest places. I only get salad from the salad bar at the grocery within 30 minutes of them opening. I avoid buffets just on GP...the food is usually nasty and would not be good for us under the best of conditions. I don't eat candy or cookies out of the dishes either. I guess I am a little neurotic..I have seen far too much, When I travel I bring my own food..it is usually healthier and better for you. I bring wipes and cleaners for our hands. But just remember..even if you wash your hands, everything you touch in between is probably pretty gross.
1 person likes this
@kayrod2 (1304)
• Australia
14 Aug 07
I dont think about those things. It doesnt really bother me. It isnt like they are putting their hands in the food. (Ihope not anyway) Here in Australia, we dont have nearly as many buffets around as there used to be. A lot of it comes down to hygeine and food in the open. Best wishes to you, modestah
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
14 Aug 07
Well Thank You hon for wrecking it for all of us. hehehe I never even thought about that. Here's another one. We push the grocery cart all over the place while we shop for groceries and sometimes we even buy something to eat on our trip home and never think about the sick kids that vomited or pooped and goodness knows. Well now we're even hehehehe. Take Care.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Aug 07
HAHA I do think of that! where I used to live the grocery would spray and wipe down the carts at regular intervals, that was nice! I usually make sure to take a cart that had not been used as recently - that way maybe some of the germs have dispiated. well wishful thinking anyhow! I do wash my cans before opening them and the outside of fruits that will be sliced into - like a melon that way if there is something yucky on the rind the knife won't pull it through the fruit.
• Canada
15 Aug 07
Oh good job now you've just assigned a new job for me. I have to confess I have never washed the cans before but it is a wise move. Thanks.
• United States
13 Aug 07
I must admit I have had my second thought about using utensils that strangers have touched. When I go to a buffet I get my spoon, knife and fork first and serve with those rather than the ones they provide. The individual utensils are less likely to be contaminated than the ones they put in the trays. I don't think you are neurotic at all, just cautious. :D
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
14 Aug 07
Yeah, I do this too. Plus, the best of them all is, I don't go for cheap buffets. Cheap ones are over crowded with people with more or less no hygiene. Plus, I go when it's being served first. What happens at weddings then? you no longer go? (to the author. *LOL*)
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Aug 07
I have thought about that (weddings) I reckon not all have buffet style meals. there is some consolation I suppose, at a wedding party there are a lot fewer people touching the utensils than an average buffet place. I just can not help feeling yicky about this. maybe buffets need servers, like in a cafeteria? someone wearing gloves and a hair net and hmmmmm a face mask!!!! hehe dishing out everyone's food as they choose it. (craftcatcher, I think you have a pretty good solution!)
• Canada
14 Aug 07
I don't worry so much about the personal utensils as I do about the ones used to serve the food. Everyone is touching the darn things and who knows if they washed their hands. Especially men! Do you know that the satistics show that a high percentage of men do not wash their hands compare to that of women. My husband is so grossed out by this when he goes to the mens room when he is out and about. The personal cutlery I check to make sure it is clean and sometimes wipe it with my serviette . You could use one of those wet ones if you carry them in your purse. I try not to eat at buffets for the most part but every once in awhile it just seems like the best thing to do when I feel real hungry and want a variety. Then again saying that; I am usually disappointed with it by the time I leave! What about you; are you glad you decided to eat at one of them? The food is usually not that great. My Opinion! Yet I still eat there once or twice a year. Silly Me!
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
14 Aug 07
it was the serving utensils, actually, that I was referring to. Although, I always wipe my eating utensils off before using them :)
• United States
16 Aug 07
You have every right to be disgusted. However, the Human body is pretty resilient. The vast majority of germs are relatively harmless. Only a tiny minority can bite hard. Unless you've a compromised immune system, you should be safe enough.
@maehan (1445)
• United States
14 Aug 07
You are good, I have never ever thought of that. You really have an analytical mind. I am truely impress! For my family, before we start off for the buffet counter. First thing, we will visit the washroom or clean our hand with wet tissue before we proceed. After reading your discussion, I will let my husband know what this. Thanks for your thought. Good!
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
14 Aug 07
I don't think you are being neurotic at all - i don't go to buffets anymore. And after hearing some of my friends talk about the restaurants they have worked at, I'm pretty limited in what restaurants I can go to, as well.
@cefaz_21 (2597)
• Philippines
14 Aug 07
Hmnn..I am now also disturbed by your thought too..good thing I don't see any buffet coming up for the next month.. I think,it's good to be cautious all the time, we do not know how contaminated the food we take now a days,and there is always health risk. see my discussion about a cake which was found to have rats parts in it? eeew! guess people need to be re-oriented about hygiene and all.