Things You Shouldn’t Even Touch, Much Less Taste At A Buffet

Things You Shouldn’t Even Touch, Much Less Taste At A Buffet

It doesn’t seem like anything sinister could
be lurking in those warmly lit giant pans full of casseroles, meats, and salads at an
all-you-can-eat buffet, but unfortunately in every Garden of Eden there’s at least one
serpent, and in the case of the buffet, there’s a few more than that. When you pay to dine at an all-you-can-eat
buffet, you’re probably hoping taste a little bit of everything. Unfortunately, some things leave you fuller
than others. One of the primary culprits is bread. Bread and rolls are cheap for restaurants
to make, so they often load up their buffet lines with a selection of different carb-loaded
items. Why fill up on cheap, simple starches when
you could be feasting on juicy prime rib, succulent roast turkey, and orange chicken? “No, Homer! Don’t fill up on bread!” “Huh?” If you’re susceptible to the call of the carbs,
beware of the buffet layout. Many places set up the buffet line so that
the cheap and filling items, including breads, are at the front. Take a walk through the buffet before you
start serving yourself so you can get a better idea of all the foods on offer instead of
letting your hunger get the best of you. You may wind up with a cheap plate that barely
makes up for the cost of entry. If you’re watching what you eat, the colorful,
jewel-like display of cut fresh fruit at the buffet seems like the perfect solution. Sadly, pre-cut fruit isn’t as safe a choice
as it may seem. It attracts bacteria that can be detrimental
to your health. Fresh fruit should be stored at a temperature
of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder to stem the growth of bacteria. Any warmer, and bacteria can rapidly grow. Cut fruit has more surface area exposed, so
it is more likely that its flesh will be contaminated. In a buffet setting, it’s often sitting in
trays above ice rather than actual refrigeration. If the temperature isn’t constantly being
monitored, the fruit can easily slip into the danger zone. One particularly concerning fruit is cantaloupe. Its skin is a favorite breeding ground for
Listeria bacteria, which can contaminate the rest of the fruit when cut. Cantaloupe is also inexpensive, so it’s often
found in buffet lines. Sprouts contain a higher dose of beneficial
nutrients than in their seed or fully-grown plant states. They can also be one of the most dangerous
foods to eat. According to Rene Ficek, an RN for Seattle
Sutton’s Healthy Eating: “They grow in damp environments, and it’s
hard to get them thoroughly cleaned.” The FDA says seeds and beans need a humid
environment to grow. That extra moisture can make them more susceptible
to bacterial contaminants such as E. coli, salmonella, and Listeria. When they’re then served raw in the buffet
salad bar and not cooked to a food-safe temperature, you could be in for a world of hurt. You might be better off skipping those salad
bar sprouts and opting for some cooked vegetables instead. Sushi can be pretty pricey, so when it’s the
same price as a brick of macaroni and cheese, why not indulge? Here’s why: keeping a massive quantity of
raw fish out on a buffet isn’t exactly a great idea. Sushi should kept at 41 degrees Fahrenheit
or lower to deter the growth of bacteria. That temperature that can be hard to maintain
by simply setting the fish a tray over ice. “What’s that?” “Sushi.” “Sushi?” Sushi rice is also often kept at room temperature
so it remains flexible and sticky enough to create sushi rolls. That means the rice itself is also at a risk
of developing bacterial growth if it’s prepared wrong. If you’re dead-set on all-you-can-eat sushi,
try heading to a buffet that specializes in sushi and seafood. They’re more likely to know how to properly
handle it so that customers don’t get sick. They’ll likewise go through a larger volume
of sushi, meaning raw fish spends less time sitting out. A lot of buffets offer up an assortment of
pre-made salads, including caprese [kah-PRAYZ] salad to potato salad. There’s some evidence that mayonnaise-based
salads should be avoided. According to Lauri, Wright, PhD a spokesperson
for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Mayonnaise-filled salads that sit out too
long can be more susceptible to contamination and foodborne illness.” “It’s been sitting in my car all day. Siphoning down on the mayonnaise. It’s just… you never know.” Mayonnaise is made with egg yolks, which gives
it a creamy texture. Most industrial mayonnaise is made with pasteurized
egg yolks, limiting the risk of salmonella. But once it’s mixed with other ingredients
and left to sit at the buffet, it can still attract bacteria. That’s especially true if it isn’t kept at
a safe temperature of less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Tuna salad’s combo of mayo and tuna, which
continues to attract bacterial growth at cooler temperatures than other types of fish, is
especially dangerous in a buffet setup. “Sweetie, that’s tuna salad.” “Oh, is that what it is? Really? Because I could have sworn it was mayonnaise
and cat food.” Unless you tend to eat like royalty at home,
chances are your buffet meal is going to cost more than what you would eat at a normal sitting. So why eat what you could easily make at home
at a buffet? If you’re at a “homestyle” buffet, skip the
meatloaf and mac and cheese in favor of prime rib and barbecued brisket. Better yet, hit up a fancier buffet so you
can try even more foods you don’t usually get to indulge in. In Las Vegas, there are several buffets that
go above and beyond the usual. The Wicked Spoon buffet at the Cosmopolitan
Hotel and the Bacchanal buffet at Caesar’s Palace, for instance, offer up delicacies
including char-grilled Australian lamb, hand-made dim sum, roasted bone marrow, and duck confit
ravioli. Nothing feels like a safer bet at the buffet
than a plate piled high with leafy greens from the salad bar. But there is such thing as “too good to be
true,” and it turns out those leafy greens could actually be harboring dangerous pathogens. Grown directly in damp soil, leafy greens
can become contaminated with bacteria, including Listeria, cryptosporidium, salmonella, and
E. coli. Spinach is apparently one of the most likely
greens to be contaminated. Since these leafy greens at the salad bar
are served raw, there’s no chance for the harmful bacteria to be eliminated through
high-temperature cooking. Buffets are also open to a lot of airborne
pathogens. They’re also susceptible to contamination
from diners’ hands, as well as the misuse of tongs and other utensils. Most salad bars come with additional items
such as croutons, cheeses, bacon bits, deli meats, and dressings. While some of us need more than a couple of
those to choke down a plate of raw vegetables, they come with a host of health concerns. Deli meats, bacon bits, and cheeses all have
high sodium counts on their own, but add them together and you’re facing a really whopping
dose of salt for a single meal. Even two tablespoons of blue cheese dressing
can add 228 calories and 23 grams of fat to your meal, so you’re better off sticking to
oil and vinegar or a vinaigrette. Croutons add crunch, but they’re simple carbohydrates
that are often sautéed in butter or oil and sprinkled with salt. Just four croutons can add 100 calories to
your salad. And when was the last time anybody stopped
at just four croutons? “I can put a couple of croutons on my salad.” “Um, no you can’t.” If you decide to risk the leafy greens and
have a salad, at least avoid further pitfalls by making a smart salad topped with unprocessed
meat or beans for protein, lots of colorful vegetables, and just a small sprinkle of nuts
or sunflowers seeds for crunch. Lemon juice is so acidic it’s often used as
a disinfectant and cleanser, but when it’s used in the food service industry, it can
actually play host to a variety of bacteria. The lemon wedges you’re served in your drink
or alongside seafood are pre-sliced and stored together for who knows how long. Once the peel can’t protect the lemon’s flesh
it becomes susceptible to bacterial growth. If the lemons are kept in an open container
or not handled properly, they can get contaminated. Waiters don’t always wash their hands, use
tongs, or put on gloves before cutting the lemons or adding them to your drink. Any bacteria transferred to the fruit in the
process can then find its way into your mouth. The Journal of Environmental Health published
a study that showed that more than 70 percent of lemons sampled from 21 restaurants showed
signs of contamination from 25 different microbial species. Those odds aren’t exactly in your favor, so
the next time you’re at the buffet, you’re better off skipping lemon in your drink or
squeezed over your crab legs. There are two reasons to avoid squash and
potatoes at the buffet. The first is purely economical. Squash and potatoes are starchy vegetables
full of fiber and carbohydrates, meaning they’ll fill you up quickly. Once you’re full, you won’t get to experience
the other foods at the buffet that are actually a better value for your money. The other reason to avoid them is that their
density can make it hard to keep squash and potato dishes at a food-safe temperature. They need to stay hotter than 135 degrees
to keep bacteria away. If you’ve ever tried heating a dish of leftover
mashed potatoes post-Thanksgiving, the center of those casserole dishes can remain cold
for a shockingly long time in the oven. If the buffet you’re at isn’t properly run
and isn’t checking the internal temperatures of these dense dishes, there’s a risk that
you could wind up eating something unsafe. Potatoes and squash are also at risk for bacterial
contamination because they have high water content and are low in acidity, two characteristics
known to encourage the growth of dangerous bacteria at certain temperatures. “It was a bold man who first ate an oyster.” Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration
don’t recommend eating raw oysters, due to the risk of ingesting those contaminated with
the life-threatening bacteria. They can also harbor hepatitis A. Most of the safeguards people rely on when
it comes to eating raw oysters are based in myth. According to the FDA, hot sauce will not kill
harmful bacteria. Oysters from unpolluted waters can still be
infested with Vibrio vulnificus. You can’t tell if an oyster is contaminated
by smelling or tasting it, either. Pairing oysters with alcohol won’t help kill
any of the bacteria. And oysters eaten in the winter months can
still be infected. It’s better safe than sorry. As the FDA points out, eating even just a
few infected raw oysters can be fatal: “Nothing but prolonged exposure to heat at
a high enough temperature will kill bacteria.” You’re better off sticking to fried, grilled,
or baked oysters if you’ve got a craving. A lot of people grow up eating rice or noodles
with every meal, but it’s not the wisest choice at the buffet, both in terms of cost savings
and your appetite. Rice, noodles, and other simple carbohydrates
are some of the cheapest items for restaurants to prepare, so they try to include them in
as many dishes as possible. They’re also filling, meaning customers won’t
eat as much after a helping or two. Fried rice, fried noodles, and pasta dishes
in cream sauce are all some of the worst culprits. Both the fried and creamy dishes pair heavy
fats with simple carbohydrates for a meal that’s lacking in beneficial nutrients. They’ll fill you up quickly, leaving little
room for you to taste the other dishes, and do a number on your physical health, too. If you need a starch on your plate, look for
brown rice or another whole grain such as quinoa, farro, or bulgur. Just remember to take a modest portion, so
you don’t get too full to try the other foods on display. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about buffet
foods are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.


  1. When we had old country buffet I never got sick but since Golden Corral took over every time I go there I get very sick.

  2. I never eat pre cut fruit. I don’t like people touching my food and people often rub their bare hands all over fruit when they’re cutting it.. no thanks. I’ll cut my own.

  3. Yo. Do not work for a buffet. I did the dishpit. It's super brutal. Everyone quits, and it pays garbage money. Only $12 an hour here. It's a disgusting place and it's non stop work all day. I used to do it straight for 14 hours.

  4. Plz, people who get sick cause their milk is warm or their fruit is room temperature or they had a little raw meat… Weak.
    I got an iron stomach, I can chow down on anything questionable. Pizza left out in the garage for two days? A little stale, but sure its edible. Roadkill stew? Just cut off the bits with maggots is all. Molding block of cheese? That's what the knife is for, scrape off the bad- eat the good.

  5. I know Sam Monilla. He's a notorious hitman but as long as you're not on his hit list he's a great guy to hangout with.

  6. I go straight for the proteins and only the proteins. that's the only way to get the most out of your money

  7. This video is confusing because one minute it's about food safety and the next it's about calories. I'm not watching this video for health tips??

  8. So, basically never eat anywhere but at home to be more safe! Yeah I already knew that but I'll risk it now and then.

  9. Crypto, say what? Sounds like it’s a death wish to eat from a buffet, it’s not that serious! AND wait a [email protected] minute, they didn’t even touch on dirty spoons, people breathing and touching things, etc., what a stupid video—why did I watch?

  10. All this concern regarding temperature is not that important. Assuming the food on the buffet isn't sitting there for three hours, you don't need to worry about that part. Sneezes, filthy hands on tongs, little kids, over zealous kitchen workers spraying the floors causing a mist of Listeria is the real worry

  11. What i learned from this video: at a buffet, only eat the expensive stuff, so the next time you go eat there, the restaurant will have doubled the price for a buffet because people only eat the expensive stuff.

  12. Bro nobody give a fuck about bacteria, we have trillions of bacteria in our body and in a 200-pound adult, that's 2 to 6 pounds of bacteria 🦠 🙄. Not like we eat at the buffet every single day, like damn.

  13. Fuck this video. People could make a "dangerous" video about anything. If it were up to some people we couldn't even drink a glass of water without being fearful of contamination. Eat up…and enjoy your buffet experience.

  14. People keep on saying "Just eat at home!"
    But there is still a lot of things you can eat!
    Besides, it looks like salad is the worse thing to eat and I don't see many people that got there.

  15. A lot of people are offended of Mashed.
    Out of all the channels that make videos like Mashed (ie. The Talko) Mashed is the best.

  16. 2:51 – advised to avoid sushi in Buffets
    – meanwhile –
    "Mashed" upload "Hacks To Really Get Your Money's Worth At A Buffet"
    ( ) at 5:48 "…and really go for it with high ticket items like Sushi" … uhm… WTF? Your creators don't even watch your own videos?

  17. Anyone else watch this and plan all your next plates at your local buffet despite what this video says? 🙋🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😎🤤😆 Bring on all the bacteria I guess bc Mama's hungry!

  18. It’s better if you get the food when they just put it out. Don’t get it if there it’s been sitting there for a while. You can tell by how much is left.

  19. Let’s just not eat anything in this world then and starve ourselves cause Mashed said it’s bad for you.

  20. You should never eat at a buffet people eat like animals dig in their noses and butts then touch all the utensils. The very ones you have to touch to put food on your plate. Nope none for me thanks 🤢

  21. Meh, it’s safe enough if you plan well. Try to take salad and fruits and sushi just as it’s brought out, instead of taking it off a plate or bowl that you don’t know for how long it’s been out at the buffet. Usually some foods don’t last long in the buffet, something like watermelon for example often needs frequent refills.

    I’ve never had any issues after any buffet, and I don’t go to a buffet to eat a lot of expensive things, I pick things I like or want to try and don’t care about how much it costs if ordering it separately. I won’t sit and eat crab or lobster just because it’s expensive, when I don’t like seafood much at all (don’t eat most of it) and prefer shrimp over lobster any day anyways. If a buffet has a pasta/rice/noodle dish I like then I’ll eat some of that dish even with it being there purely to fill you up faster and save money for the restaurant. Again, I don’t go to a buffet for the expensive stuff, I go there to try various foods and have the option to have as much or as little as I want… And for the dessert of course!

  22. If you eat at the buffets after prime dining time then youre more likely to get contaminated food. They serve leftovers and dont change food containers out as often. If youre one of those people that think a higher rating makes its safer,then youre being deceived. Restaurants always know when food /kitchen inspectors are coming. Those are the days the restaurants are cleaner, more polished, and food is at safest temps .

  23. So in other words, don't' eat out !

    Or go to a place that serves the plate of food. Not a buffet.

    God forbids people to eat shell sea foods. Only fish with fins and scales are allowed by God.
    AS for meat only meat form cloves hoof animals ( like deer, cow, goat, AND that also chew their cud)

    Pork (pig) and horse, and dog, rabbit, squirrel, meat are forbidden. As are shark, whale or cat fish. God knows what will make us sick or even die. Those are what HE forbids.

    HE made us and knows what He made our diet to be to stay strong and healthy.


  24. For the price of 4 people eating at an all you can eat buffet, I can make at home for these same people a gourmet dinner of steak and lobster with shrimp cocktails as an appetizer with all the fixings including dessert and still have money left over. It would only take about an hour to prep and cook said meal.

  25. If you're concerned about healthy eating why eat at a buffet at all? where you'll just overeat and get a headache.

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