Is there anything more disgusting than a buffet?
Sure, I know people love them. You might hit one yourself from time to time. And it’s not hard to see why.
They’re cheap… you can eat a ton… and there’s a lot to choose from, so even the fussiest eater is happy.
But think about it for a minute. You’re taking food from a heated trough shared by dozens – maybe hundreds – of other people.
And most of those buffet diners aren’t as clean as you are!
Now, a new report shows something to watch out for beyond the usual boogers and potty fingers (as if those aren’t enough to get you to swear off buffets for life).
They’re also home to a nasty little germ that can leave you doubled over with agonizing stomach pain and days of diarrhea or puking!
A Texas woman is suing a local Chinese buffet for $1 million after she developed what’s known as “fried rice syndrome.”
It might have a funny name, but what it does is no laughing matter. Fried rice syndrome is caused by the Bacillus cereus bacteria, which thrives in lukewarm and room-temperature foods, especially in buffet conditions (and it just loves rice dishes).
The woman said the meal didn’t taste off. In fact, it tasted just fine. But she started getting sick on the drive home.
She found herself puking and suffering from breathing struggles – and ended up on a ventilator in the ICU!
The restaurant claims that it’s not to blame, but these joints are generally crawling with nasties. A Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert told the Tonic website earlier this year that buffets are “cesspools for bacteria and viruses.”
He’s not being dramatic.
While any restaurant can serve up a heaping helping of food poisoning, buffets are pretty much ripe for them. Many of the warmers keep food at between 100 and 140 degrees, which also just so happens to be the sweet spot for sickening germs such as Bacillus cereus.
It’s not just the fried rice you need to watch out for. Germs can turn up in any dish when the conditions are right… and in many cases, they might not even be in the food.
Think about it: Someone uses the toilet, doesn’t wash up, and handles the tongs to grab some wings. You like wings – who doesn’t? – and grab those same tongs next.
His potty germs are now on your hands, which you’ll then use to eat those wings.
Next thing you know, you’re sicker than you’ve been in your life.
Don’t feel like cooking? Sure, have a meal out every now and then… just stick to REAL food and skip the buffet!