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These Buffet Items Are Off Limits

By Sara Butler

Humans need food and nothing tops your base desire to consume calories like a buffet. At first glance, buffets may seem harmless, but the truth is that there are a few things on the buffet you should always avoid for your health. Here are some tips for what you shouldn't indulge in the next time you hit your favorite all-you-can-eat buffet.

Pre-Cut Fruit

You may think that fruit is a healthy choice on a buffet. The problem is that pre-cut fruit has been handled and when it's handled, it attracts bacteria. Throw that in with the fact that it's sitting out on a buffet, which likely doesn't keep it at the right temperature to stem the growth of bacteria, and you've got a perfect storm of contamination. It's probably best to avoid pre-cut fruit, especially if you're pregnant or your immune system is compromised.


Chances are that your favorite buffet offers some sushi options, but it may not be the safest option. As you may have guessed, raw fish on a buffet isn't exactly a good idea. Sushi must be kept at a temperature of less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit in order to stay safe. That's a temperature difficult to maintain on ice, so you're really taking a big risk if you choose sushi at your next buffet experience.

Mayo-Based Salads

You can often find a lot of pre-made salads on a buffet, including mayonnaise-based salads such as macaroni or potato salad. Those should be avoided at all costs because if they sit out for too long, then they can carry bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

Mayonnaise is made from egg yolks. While that accounts for its creamy texture, it can attract bacteria if not kept at the appropriate temperature. Tuna salad should especially be avoided since it combines tuna and mayo -- a double bacterial growth whammy.

Salad Greens

Salad is healthy, right? Maybe not from a buffet. Raw leafy greens such as spinach can harbor dangerous bacteria on a buffet since they are often contaminated with bacteria when they grow in the soil. Spinach is one of the most likely to be contaminated, so watch what you choose from that salad bar since leafy greens are often served raw and therefore don't have the chance to have the bacteria cooked away.

Sometimes you simply can't avoid eating at a buffet, but make sure when you do, you do it wisely!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Queen Creek, Ariz.

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