golden corralNearly 200 people may have been sickened after eating at the same buffet restaurant last week. A Casper, Wyoming Golden Corral closed temporarily after 167 cases of food-borne illnesses were linked to it. Thankfully, no one has died. The Golden Corral shut down voluntarily and told the local health department they would clean the place from top to bottom.

It looks like diners came down with Norovirus, the most common form of food poisoning. If this Golden Corral is the culprit behind all the cases, the incident would make it the largest outbreak of food poisoning from a single restaurant to date. It makes me wonder, are buffet-style restaurants just too risky?

Golden Corral had another incident of food poisoning a few years ago, but I doubt they're much more dangerous than any other buffet restaurant. The idea at all of these places is the same: You save money by serving yourself, and usually you get to eat as much as you want.

I thought this was a great idea back when I was in puberty and always hungry. But as I got older they started to look more like a gamble. We have buffets here in the city, too (they're not all-you-can eat!) and they just make me too nervous to eat there. What if someone sneezes in the steamed carrots? How long has the penne arrabiata been there? Do I dare trust that egg salad?

I do not trust that egg salad.

And that's why you'll never catch me at one of those places, unless my almost-95-year-old grandma insists. And even then I'll try and eat something before we go. Because I like not being sick. But maybe there are ways to tell if a restaurant buffet is on the safer side, like how hot the food is, what kinds of food is served, how the other diners interact with the food, and how often the food is replaced.

Anyway, just a PSA: Symptoms of Norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and sometimes a fever and lasts 24 to 48 hours. Good luck diners.

Do you feel safe eating at buffet restaurants?

 

Image via KTWONEWS/YouTube