Golden Corral Food Poisoning: Are Buffets Too Risky?

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Nearly 200 people came down with food poisoning near Casper, Wyoming last week in an outbreak that has been linked to a Golden Corral restaurant in the area.

According to the NY Daily News, the restaurant shut down on December 13 after 167 people reported symptoms of norovirus. The illness - also known as the stomach flu - is spread by eating contaminated food or touching contaminated surfaces.

You know where it's really easy for something like that to spread? A buffet.

If the restaurant does prove to be responsible for all of the cases, it would be the largest outbreak of food poisoning from a single restaurant to date.

But this is not the first time that Golden Corral has been connected to a food-borne illness. In 2003, 23 customers were infected with Salmonella after dining at one of the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants.

These incidents raise an important question - are buffets just too risky?

Personal experience: When I was about 15, my family went on vacation to Colonial Williamsburg (which I thought was already punishment enough), but one night when the "King's Arms Tavern" was closed, my brother insisted that he wanted to go to Golden Corral.

Against my strenuous STRENUOUS objections, we went... and sure enough, the apple pie tasted like chicken.

So in conclusion: Yes, as far as I'm concerned, buffets are too risky. Plus that "all you can eat" mentality cannot be helping our nation's rapidly rising obesity rates. Dinner should not be viewed as a dare, people. It's not like I'm impressed that you've managed to polish off four plates of macaroni salad.

What do you think? Would you eat at a buffet-style restaurant?

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