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 oftenfound 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.
来自西雅图萨顿健康组织的注册护士 Rene Ficek说
According to Rene Ficek, an RN for SeattleSutton’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.
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-basedsalads 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 delicaciesincluding 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,
包括李斯特菌 隐孢子虫 大肠杆菌污染
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,
如烤面包块 奶酪 培根碎 熟肉和沙拉酱
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 toyour 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 withthe 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 beinfested 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 killany of the bacteria.
And oysters eaten in the winter months canstill 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,
米饭 面条 和其他碳水化合物
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,
比如藜麦 法老小麦 碎干小麦
farro, or bulgur.
Just remember to take a modest portion,
so you don’t get too full to try the other foods on display.
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