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Salad Bars
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9 posts in this topic

I am a newly diagnosed celiac. Recently I heard that salad bars in family restaurants might not be safe to eat from as the salad was sprayed with something to keep it crisp. Has anyone else heard about this? Is it true? I'm almost afraid to eat out any more.

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I think the main problem with any food served "buffet-style" is the risk of cross contamination. Someone might drop a couton in the lettuce. When its picked out, it still leaves little crumbs you might not see. People might use the tongs from the pasta salad on the tomatoes.

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I've eaten at many salad bars without any problems. Be sure to be careful of where you are getting your food. I usually try to take the lettuce from the back of the pan, where there is less risk that something might have fell in and CC'd it. Be especially careful around the dressings. Many times, I see crutons and egg noodles dropped in the dressings. If I suspect it is not clean, I usually try to get a individualized packet of dressing or ask the waitress if she can help by getting some "clean" dressing from the kitchen.

Wenmin

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I've never heard of a spray with gluten. Sulfites, yes. But not gluten. Whether or not we eat from a salad bar depends on what it looks like. If it is very messy and food from one place is slopped into another, then we won't. We also don't eat the dressing.

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I've never heard of a spray with gluten.

Nor have I.

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I wasn't much of a fan of salad bars or self-serve buffets before I got diagnosed. Food sitting out being kept warm for ages, little kids running around putting their fingers on everything... it always struck me as pretty unhygenic. But I definitely wouldn't eat at one now. Sometimes you can get food brought out from the kitchen though.

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I have had two very bad experiences no matter how careful I am with buffets. One time the wrong dressing, which I was told was gluten free was labeled with the wrong spoon. It sucks getting glutened from salad, totally not worth it! The next time after I had learned from the dressing experience, I had another salad bar that made me terribly sick, we spoke with the manager and she said they refill things every day but do not wash the bins every night, they just cover it in the fridge and add more the next day. The manager discovered that someone had taken a bin with something gluten and switched it with veggies, without a wash...

I normally ask for them to make me a salad from the back. But I have never heard of a spray for gluten, I sure hope not!

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I have had two very bad experiences no matter how careful I am with buffets. One time the wrong dressing, which I was told was gluten free was labeled with the wrong spoon. It sucks getting glutened from salad, totally not worth it! The next time after I had learned from the dressing experience, I had another salad bar that made me terribly sick, we spoke with the manager and she said they refill things every day but do not wash the bins every night, they just cover it in the fridge and add more the next day. The manager discovered that someone had taken a bin with something gluten and switched it with veggies, without a wash...

I normally ask for them to make me a salad from the back. But I have never heard of a spray for gluten, I sure hope not!

As a former head chef I can tell you that I would certainly not ever eat anything there whether it was from the salad bar or the kitchen. The health dept would cite this place if they knew what it was doing.

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Since my hubby was diagnosed in October 2009, we have avoided buffet-like places. Not because of his celiac disease, but like many other posts have said, I've become more careful about where we eat. Especially because of the danger of cross-contamination.

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