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Am I being precious or totally justified in never wanting to go to a buffet ever again?

(38 Posts)
LooseSeal Fri 24-Jul-15 19:22:03

So I've just got back from taking DD out to our local Chinese buffet for tea as a last day of term treat not because I couldn't be arsed to cook, oh no.

While I was sorting out a duck pancake for DD, a boy who looked about 8 stuck his hand into the pancake basket and started rooting around trying to peel off a single pancake.

I'm not normally the kind of person who tells other people's children off, I normally just grit my teeth and internally seethe while Jocasta and Tarquin play hide and seek under my restaurant table, but I am also a bit anal about food hygiene. Knowing that DD frequently has her fingers either up her nose or in her mouth fiddling with her wobbly teeth I couldn't help (gently) telling him to use the tongs not his fingers.

DD went to sit at the table and I went back to sort a duck pancake out for myself. As I was squirting hoisin sauce onto my crispy duck the boy's mother, with his smaller sister in tow, proceeded to stick her hand into the pancake basket and start pulling pancakes out. I like to think adults are a bit more hygiene minded than children, but since the washing hands after nappy changing thread on here I'm not so sure, however I couldn't help myself and I told her (politely) to use the bloody tongs. To be fair she did look embarrassed and apologised, and later I did hear her telling her children not to put their hands in the buffet dishes.

Then while I was paying I saw a man take a grape out from a bowl, eat it, then stick his whole hand up to his wrist into the grapes to pull out a fistful of fruit, totally ignoring the serving spoon in the bowl. I managed to avoid shouting "oi, mister, I hope your hands are clean" across the room, but I did give him a Paddington bear hard stare.

AIBU in never wanting to eat at a buffet again?

hiddenhome Fri 24-Jul-15 19:24:37

Buffets are a type of party for e-coli smile

MamaLazarou Fri 24-Jul-15 19:26:26

Totally missing the point, but I love how kids in these stories are called Tarquin and Jocasta grin

BettyCatKitten Fri 24-Jul-15 19:27:31

Communal eating is a risky business!

PurpleSwift Fri 24-Jul-15 19:29:25

This is UNAVOIDABLE at buffets. YANBU at all though, it's gross and lazy

TwinkieTwinkle Fri 24-Jul-15 19:29:42

I love buffet restaurants. Cosmo anyone? totally missing the point

LooseSeal Fri 24-Jul-15 19:31:17

Twinkle, it was indeed a Cosmo.

Getthewonderwebout Fri 24-Jul-15 19:31:56

Buffets are germ-fests at best.

If you really really want to see a load of revolting manners buffet-style, take yourself on an all-inclusive holiday. If you make it out of the canteen with your sanity, hearing and bowel all in full working order, I'll take my hat off to you.

InQuiteAPickle Fri 24-Jul-15 19:32:09

YANBU, especially after I read the thread the other day about hand washing after changing pooey nappies! The amount of MNers who said they didn't wash their hands after changing a nappy was astonishing. Dirty bastards!

I see so many people touch good at buffets and then put it back.

Getthewonderwebout Fri 24-Jul-15 19:33:00

Oh God Cosmo - a work "do" was had there. Hell in a concrete hole.

InQuiteAPickle Fri 24-Jul-15 19:34:01

Touch food.

DadfromUncle Fri 24-Jul-15 19:37:43

You certainly shouldn't go near one again. What with all the terrible hygiene faux pas there are, it's a miracle any of us is still alive really. I've been flushing the bog with the lid up for years - I should be dead by rights.

BestZebbie Fri 24-Jul-15 19:41:47

YANBU that you will end up eating food that strangers have been in germ-shedding range of if you go to a communal buffet, so if you don't accept that then you shouldn't go (relatedly, if you had a severe nut allergy etc as tongs get used randomly between different dishes). But I think you are also being a bit precious at the same time - it is perfectly possible to pick up a pancake off a stack without touching the ones below it, and much easier to do that with fingers than tongs...

TravellingHopefully12 Fri 24-Jul-15 19:51:36

I don't think you're being unreasonable, they should have signs up saying 'don't put your hands in the food,' but maybe the management think it is too obvious, kind of like saying 'don't put your hands in a naked flame.'

StillStayingClassySanDiego Fri 24-Jul-15 19:57:04

This is why I shudder at the thought of booking an AI holiday ( if we will ever go abroad again), that lack of hygiene <boak>

GobblersKnob Fri 24-Jul-15 20:02:59

It sounds like hell on earth, tbh there is no way I could eat at a buffet, would much rather go without.

JonSnowKnowsNowt Fri 24-Jul-15 20:05:40

Haven't been to a buffet since DC1 was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Don't miss them at all!

SurlyCue Fri 24-Jul-15 20:09:57


VixxFace Fri 24-Jul-15 20:16:58

yuck yanbu

bloodyteenagers Fri 24-Jul-15 20:28:37

I realised this years ago. Won't touch them regardless of how cheap they are.
Same with open food in supermarkets, like the salads and bakery stuff.
All the sneezing. Coughing. Flies. Touching.

Always managed to steer the dc's past all the open biscuits etc. being very vague. Then last year walking around with the youngest. He witnessed someone pick their nose, scratch their bum and then rummage around the crossaints... Even he was mortified and yelled "eew that's discusting. Do you see that person?" And let everyone know what the person did.

OhMittens Fri 24-Jul-15 20:37:56

At the pick & mix I always ram the little shovel right to the back to make sure I get sweets that are a) fresher, because they pour them in from the top and b) unlikely to have been touched by grubby fingers rummaging around.

At buffets, I choose food from the back of the table, and then make sure it's from the back of the serving tray or plate (less likely to have been touched or sneezed/coughed on).

Then I close my mind to all the germs that will have made it on there anyway, who set it out etc. Sometimes you just got to eat!

SophiesDog Fri 24-Jul-15 20:42:17

Buffets are the food equivalent of a hot tub.

SophiesDog Fri 24-Jul-15 20:43:12

or 'filthy sex pond' as I believe they are known on here smile

BlueBlueSea Fri 24-Jul-15 20:44:59

YANBU. Sounds disgusting, I have never been to one and I certainly won't now.

LooseSeal Fri 24-Jul-15 20:47:58

Yuck, yes, hot tubs are just body fluid soup.

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