Food Poisoning Outbreak Linked to Chain Restaurant Should Make You Rethink Buffets

Say What!? 23

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


chain restaurants, food safety, eating out


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Anony... AnonyMOUSE715

I am very very iffy about Golden Corral. Great food but anyone could do anything to food. Terrorists could poison the food. People could sneeze in the food. Children could put their sick, boogery hands in the chocolate water fall, desserts, or anything for that matter. Id probably still eat there but I trust chinese buffets or CiCis more than that.

Deweymom Deweymom

I LOATHE buffets. They totally squick me out. However I do usually end up having to go to a few when we vacation in Disney (Character meals for the kids)...I try to spot the dishes that were just put out and take from those.

anfin... anfinley89

That is so gross. Our golden corral in my town was closed down a few years ago because of health violations. I was told it was infested with roaches and served expired food. NASTY!!!

kiowa... kiowagirl75

After seeing a fat lady cough and then literally stick her head under the sneeze guard to smell the food I got my money back and left and have never been back to a Golden Corral.

Mom2f... Mom2fourlove

After watching the servers pour new food on top of old I've never been back to a buffet

nonmember avatar sarah

when managing a buffet the temps of the food are supposed to be taken AT LEAST every 2 hours. if it isnt hot or cold enough is should go in the trash. the issue isnt the buffet itself, its people who dont take pride in what they do and dont care to maintain food safety standards.

Liane... Lianetherider

I'm lucky enough that in my area, the only buffets are Chinese buffets or the ones at our local casino. The casino one is always fresh, hot, and delicious, and the Chinese ones rotate too fast to go bad. I'm a very picky eater, so when I've been at other buffets I just avoid anything that looks or smells "weird" to me. It's probably fine, but I've yet to get food poisoning. +1 for being a picky eater, I guess? Lol.

tuffy... tuffymama

Buffets are nasty. People don't wash their hands before visiting the buffet line, and they all use the same serving utensils you do. Gross. After we order in a restaurant, I give the server the menu and GO WASH MY HANDS. Ever touch a greasy menu? Ever consider what's on the menu that you can't feel? Eew.

Monda... MondayisFired

That's what you get for eating at a Golden Corral.

SaphireH SaphireH

oh well wont stop my family from going there, its the only place where we can go that can feed my bottomless pit husband (he goes through 6 plates of food and is full for atleast a little while). we love it there and for the 2 years we have been going there hasnt been any issues and the places are kept clean and the food is always being changed out because it empties to fast for it to sit to long.

1-10 of 23 comments 123 Last