Lunchtime poll – salad bars
July 13th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Moriah

    I have had severe diarrhea twice from a Whole Foods salad bar. Never again.

    March 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Reply
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    April 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  3. Tif

    Totally agree with you..most people don't even realize what kind of nastiness they tuoch every day. If you don't think about it then who cares...come on what is the liklihood that your going to get sick from a salad bar..and even if you do...how would you even know that that was what made you sick. Alot of people go home with a different partner every weekend and don't even think about the kinds of diseases that they could catch.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  4. Tepper

    What is wrong with all of you people that are "grossed out" by other people touching your food? I bet half of you are happy to kiss random people in bars when drunk, or take home strangers and even put your mouth on their genitals!
    Plus as mama_b says you touch door handles, sit on toilet seats and probably scratch your arse, armpit, pick your nose, absentmindedly and then touch these things, spreading germs as much as the next person. Most importantly without regular contact with other people and their exclusive germs your immune system can become hypersensitive or insensitive to pathogens.
    Think before you say EW GROSS PEEPLES BE TOUCHIN MA FOODZ, because quite frankly, you sound absolutely fucking ridiculous.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • TDDC

      Hear, hear!

      July 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  5. Mama_B

    I'm fine with them. Then again I touch door handles and other things that humanity comes in contact with and don't think much of it.

    I like them for the things they offer that we don't eat enough of at home to justify buying. Various pickles, pre-made salads, even bottled dressing which I never buy. As an occasional treat at a reputable establishment I have no issue with salad bars.

    July 16, 2010 at 10:21 am | Reply
  6. Meateater

    I find salad bars to be a waste. Granted eating out at all when we are capable of cooking at home could be considered wasteful but I also feel they lack in nutrition as well as cleanliness. My experience has been, assuming there's not a lot of sneezes or shed skin in the offerings at a bar that the food items are mostly filler. While you will get some fiber and roughage I would prefer to eat larger portions of vegetables and healthful proteins beyond chopped bacon or ham for dinner. I can make great salads at home and always find creative ways to use up leftover ingredients whether it's mixing peppers into eggs for breakfast, adding cucumber into a curry dish or what have you. Why waste money on a roulette wheel of germs and bacteria. Mmmmmm e. Coli!!!!

    July 14, 2010 at 10:00 am | Reply
  7. citizenUSA

    No, I sit home alone eating salad 'till all hours of the morning. I'm missing work, people look at me funny when I'm throwing away all those styrofoam salad containers, my social life is falling apart... I think I'm a salaholic.

    But seriously, it's just not a good idea to have food so exposed, and maybe for long periods of time, even at home let alone in a place with a hundred or so people around the food. However if the place keeps on top of it keeping it clean and replenshed with nice fresh stuff then it's really not much of a problem.

    July 14, 2010 at 8:01 am | Reply
  8. DK

    I do like salad bars, however; I really hate when they have the ones in the supermarkets. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people dip there hands into the olives or whatever as they pass by shopping and pop them in their mouth. How gross.

    July 14, 2010 at 7:38 am | Reply
  9. coltfourfive

    Don't say negative things about a topic if you want somewhat legitimate results... aka (viva la sneezeguard)... that just makes people feel that they are gross.

    July 14, 2010 at 7:30 am | Reply
  10. TAMMY

    I like salad bars. Lenker... do you live in a bubble?

    July 14, 2010 at 5:03 am | Reply
  11. Fat & Sassie Cassie

    I am a morbidly obese woman and I would love to spray a fine mist of diarrhea all over that chopped egg. God, I am so sexy!

    July 14, 2010 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • missy

      what kind of response is that

      July 14, 2010 at 2:09 am | Reply
      • Brandy

        Its just someone hoping to get a little attention.

        July 14, 2010 at 9:13 am | Reply
  12. Anon_e_mouse

    When I'm traveling with a group of friends (to a museum out of state where we all volunteer) we usually stop for dinner on the way home. If one particular person is in the group, he won't stop at either of the places the rest of us generally prefer, so we go to a "cheapie" local steakhouse that he likes; the soup/salad/pudding and ice cream bar there is kept clean and well stocked, and it's heavily patronized (I would guess that half or more of the patrons get just the salad bar). Other than that place, though, I tend to avoid them.

    July 13, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  13. lenker

    just the knowledge that skin flakes off at every move...ugh

    July 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  14. Millie

    I personally think that salad bars and buffets are just fine. Yes, I do prefer clean bars where food aren't all over the place, and food are neatly settled in their containers. But as far as the germs, there are no way to avoid germs no matter where you are. I work in a bank and deal with money and a daily basis. If you are scared of germs, stay clear of banks, and even so money!, because there have been millions of people who have touched your dollar bill. It could have been in womens' (or mens') bras, panties, drawers from strip clubs; your money could have been dropped/found in a trash can; your money could have also been used to inhale drugs. Who knows? As far as I am concerned, money and trash have the most bacteria in the world. So the next time you visit a buffet or salad bar, just think that it could be worst.

    July 13, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  15. Eliz

    Not anymore! Ever grab one of the spoons and it has some kind of gunk on the handle from a previous patron? And the people that think the sneeze guard is something to stick their head UNDER while they reach to the back row of fixings. Bleh.

    July 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  16. MIKE SITUATION

    WHY DO THEY HAVE RED CLOWN NOSES IN THAT PICTURE? GOD THAT'S SO DUMMY

    July 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  17. fleur de lis

    I love salad bars. I disagree that you can make a better salad at home. For some reason, salad ALWAYS tastes better at a restaurant. I'm an obsessive handwasher, but for some reason the "ick factor" doesn't bother me.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  18. y2daddy

    Yes, I go to salad bars and buffets. I don't live my life as a germaphobe.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  19. SUE

    I ONLY EAT THE SALAD BAR AT WHOLE FOODS WHEN THEY FIRST SET UP AND OPEN IN THE MORNING. ALL IS FRESH AND JUST PUT OUT

    July 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • lenker

      totally agree

      July 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • ML

      Unfortunately, that's not true of most salad bars. At the end of the day, most of the bowls are covered with wrap, put in a refrigerator, and then served the next day.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:47 am | Reply
  20. workingmom40

    O.k. y'all I am totally grossed out! I like the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday's and at Sweet Tomatoes, they generally seem clean and have sneeze guard, but now I am not so sure! Maybe just stick with the ones I have visited before...

    July 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  21. Mrs. G

    I love salad bars (and buffets, while I'm at it)...I'm not sure how or where I acquired my love for them, since my parents raised me to turn my nose at them (they call them "Cough & Sneezes;" very rarely did we visit a salad bar and even more rarely did we visit a buffet when I was growing up). I can't say no to the variety, though. Maybe they AREN'T the most sanitary of places, but I feel like most everything in life carries a bit of risk and I might as well live a little and enjoy my salad with cucumbers, beets, cherry tomatoes, egg, sunflower seeds and Thousand Island dressing (and, at a salad bar that I went to last month, wasabi peas!) and little scoops of various pasta salads on the side.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  22. Cranston

    Although I love a good salad, I typically do not go to salad bars, largely because I can make good salads at home, and there is always the concern about the food handling since most of the ingredients are raw. With that said, there is a little Italian place near my office that has a good salad bar and I do go there sometimes, but I have come to trust the staff and how they handle the food. Other than my Italian place, I find that most salad bars are over-priced, so I avoid them.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  23. paula

    I no longer eat at such places and haven't for quite some time. Recently family members wanted to go to one. I told them I wanted to check inside out first. We went in and the whole thing was clean and beautiful. Just as I was about to cave, a man in front for me wiped his nose with his hand and then proceeded to pick up onion rings bare handed without using tongs touching several others that were left for the next unsuspecting person. How do you know what's happened right before you get there. I'll pass, people tend to be gross!!!

    July 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Leonid Brezhnev

      Good thing you can't see what goes on in the kitchens of most restaurants.

      July 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      • Anita

        That is so true. You never see the before I serve you items or employees. Food is dropped on floors and served to customers, food that has expired is served as well. You know even getting food from your local market is at high risk of poor quality.... Its sad , we can't trust anyone to serve or prepare a clean meal...

        July 14, 2010 at 8:27 am | Reply
  24. FRED L. COLEMAN

    ISN'T THERE ANY WAY TO MAKE THEM M O R E GERM FREE

    July 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  25. Amber

    I don't like buffets period. I try very hard to control my weight, but having an unlimited selection of ANYTHING is not helpful to this goal. I would much rather go to a restaurant and have a limited amount set in front of me – in fact that's better because if it's a big portion I can immediately ask for a box and save the other half for lunch tomorrow. You don't get those bonus meals at salad bars.

    Besides, if it's a true salad bar the lettuce is often gross, wilty, soggy, and flavorless – which really means the lettuce becomes a bed for a lot of other options that are not necessarily healthy (dressing, eggs, bacon, cheese, etc)

    July 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  26. Sam

    I tend to go look at the salad bar before I choose to order it. If it's clean and the food looks fresh, count me in!

    July 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  27. Rick DeBay

    My family of five eats dinner at Sweet Tomatoes for only $25, and the boys have to eat something other than chicken strips.

    July 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  28. Kate

    We still go to places that offer an extensive salad bar because they have ingrediants that I don't buy because we wouldn't use them up before they went bad. We usually try to go to places that have a server prepare the salad from the line selections instead of a do-it-yourself. Just because of the ick factor.

    July 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  29. Adrian

    Scared of the MSG put on the items to keep them looking fresh. If a place uses to much it makes me phyiscally ill,then I know the salad bar turn over must not be very good.

    July 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  30. Anna

    I consider salad something to make at home for cheap. When I go out to eat, I order whatever food I want. Pasta, burgers, pizza, whatever! MMMM!

    July 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • Leonid Brezhnev

      How ove weight are YOU??

      July 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  31. Kristine

    We have a cafeteria in our building that has a salad bar. I'll only eat from the salad bar if I can get down there before the masses come in. If not, I'm not eating salad.

    July 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  32. Ann

    When I go out, I don't want to pay to make my dinner. I can make an amazing salad at home.

    July 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • JD

      Wow, must be nice to have a spread like the picture for the article. How do you fit all that in your refrigerator? I think most of the fun is picking from several different ingredients to make several small salads. Then again, I DO like to play with my food :)

      July 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Reply
      • GoG

        There are like 6 things in that picture. How small is your fridge?

        July 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • ripper

        I count 14 items.... More than I'd keep in my icebox (and it's a biggie)...

        July 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
      • Terry from West Texas

        There are "like" six things? There are 13 bowls totally or partially displayed. You need to learn, like, to count.

        July 13, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
      • jimbo

        GoG- The picture is only a small section of the salad ber

        July 14, 2010 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Leonid Brezhnev

      Then stay home and make your salad. Really, no one gives a $hit what you do.

      July 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply

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