Salad Bar Precautions to Eat Healthy and Stay Safe

There have been multiple recalls of raw lettuce and spinach in recent years. Even as recently as May 2010, large amounts of lettuce were recalled due to the fear of E. coli contamination. While cold temperatures certainly inhibit the growth of dangerous bacteria, they do not stop the proliferation of microbes. And cold temperatures must be consistently maintained to be effective.

The dangerous E. coli bacteria could be found on the leaves even before it was put out in the salad bar, and in some cases the lettuce was recalled due to the threat of E. coli. The problem is, no one knows whether the bacteria is present or not until someone gets sick.

Tips on Preventing Illness at the Salad Bar

If you like the convenience of salad bars and find them to be a ready source of fruits and vegetables, there are some things you can do to keep your visit to the salad bar safe.

  1. Follow the rules of sanitation and encourage others to do so as well. If you do see someone engaged in unsanitary behavior, tell the manager or an employee right away.
  2. Eat at salad bars that are vigilantly maintained. There should be employees present who are checking on the temperature of the food, re-stocking clean plates and flatware, and noting customer behavior.
  3. Choose a salad dressing that contains vinegar, or use apple cider vinegar and oil only on your salad. Vinegar kills germs.
  4. Don’t eat at salad bars that look unclean. Pooled water on the floor, spilled food, a dirty sneeze guard, and other signs of poor sanitation are sure indications that you should eat elsewhere.


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