Buffets are a food lover’s paradise, offering many dishes. However, not every item is a safe bet. Some buffet foods can turn a dream meal into a nightmare due to sneaky germs and hidden ingredients. Here are 15 buffet foods that are a recipe for disaster and why you should think twice before putting them on your plate.

Potato Dishes

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Potatoes under heat lamps often turn soggy or hard. Additionally, they are starchy fillers that can detract from enjoying more premium options. Buffets aim to fill you up on cheaper items like potatoes; a survey showed that up to 60% of buffet-goers fill their plates with starchy items first.

Lemons

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Lemon wedges at buffets are often touched by many people and rarely replaced, leading to contamination. Research has shown that lemon wedges, including buffets, can carry bacteria such as E. coli and other pathogens in public settings.

Sushi

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Sushi requires impeccable freshness, which buffets often cannot guarantee. Sushi left out for too long can harbor bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria. According to the CDC, raw fish can be a source of foodborne illnesses, and improper storage increases this risk significantly.

Oysters

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Raw oysters need to be extremely fresh to be safe. Buffets often cannot maintain the necessary conditions, leading to a high risk of contamination. The FDA reports that raw oysters are a common source of norovirus and Vibrio infections, with a high incidence in buffet settings.

Bread

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Bread at buffets quickly becomes stale. Additionally, multiple people often touch it, increasing the risk of contamination. Studies show that bread left out for over a few hours loses its freshness and can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.

Melon

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Cut melons can become contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella if not stored properly. They are often cut hours in advance at buffets. The CDC notes that cut melons should be refrigerated and consumed within four hours to avoid bacterial growth.

Egg Salad

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Egg salad can spoil quickly if left at room temperature, making it a high-risk item for buffets. Egg-based salads are frequently implicated in foodborne illness outbreaks, with a significant number traced back to improper storage at buffets.

Salad Toppings

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Fresh salad toppings can wilt and become unappetizing quickly. Moreover, with many hands picking through them, the risk of germ transmission is high. A study found that buffet salad bars have higher bacterial counts compared to other food stations, with a significant proportion of samples testing positive for E. coli.

Tuna

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Tuna, especially in cold salads, can become a playground for bacteria if not kept at the correct temperature. Improperly stored tuna is a leading cause of Scombrotoxin poisoning, with buffets being a common source of outbreaks.

Shrimp Cocktail

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Shrimp needs to be kept at very cold temperatures to remain safe. Buffet settings often fail to maintain this, increasing the risk of foodborne illnesses. Shrimp is a leading cause of seafood-related food poisoning, and improper temperature control at buffets exacerbates this risk.

Deli Meats

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Sliced deli meats can quickly dry out and become a breeding ground for bacteria if not kept at proper temperatures. Listeria is commonly associated with deli meats, with outbreaks often linked to poor storage practices.

Soft Cheeses

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Soft cheeses can spoil quickly and harbor bacteria like Listeria if not kept at the right temperature. The CDC warns that soft cheeses can be particularly risky in buffet settings, where temperature control is often inadequate.

Dressings

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Bulk dressings can contain hidden calories and ingredients. Open containers are prone to contamination. Studies have found that buffet dressings can have bacterial counts significantly higher than safe levels due to constant exposure and lack of refrigeration.

Sprouts

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Why It’s Risky: Raw sprouts are difficult to clean and can harbor bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Statistics: The FDA advises against consuming raw sprouts in public food settings due to their high contamination risk, noting that they have been linked to numerous outbreaks.

Unpopular Dishes

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Dishes that aren’t popular may have been sitting out longer, increasing the risk of spoilage and bacterial growth. According to food safety experts, less popular dishes at buffets often exceed safe holding times, making them more likely to harbor harmful bacteria.

15 Nostalgic Dinners from the Past That Are Rarely Seen Today

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The scent of a family meal cooking can bring back memories, especially if it’s a childhood favorite we don’t often have as adults. This article showcases 18 classic dinners that provided convenience and budget-friendliness for parents and are worthy of a revival. These traditional dinners from the past trigger nostalgic memories and are worth rediscovering.

15 Nostalgic Dinners from the Past That Are Rarely Seen Today

18 of the Unhealthiest Cereals You Can Buy

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Cereal is a common breakfast option enjoyed by people of all ages. However, it’s important to be mindful of the nutritional content of different cereals, as some can be high in sugar and fat, which may not align with your health goals. To help you make informed choices for your family, we have compiled a list of the 18 unhealthiest cereals to avoid.

18 of the Unhealthiest Cereals You Can Buy

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