Jump to content

Recommended Posts

If I was that worried about viruses, etc., I would not eat out at all.  Last night, wife and I were eating at a chain restaurant named after a fruit and a honey-producing insect.  The one by us is a beta design where you can see everything going on in the kitchen.  At the grill portion, they have a big picture window ( see photo).  When we were finishing up our meal, I watched the two cooks for a few minutes while my wife went out to smoke.  The guy working the grill placed a streak and two chicken breasts on the grill using his bare hands (no gloves), and the guy doing the assembly of the dishes used his non-gloved hands to add sauce to a dish and to add steamer bags of broccoli to two plates. 

Going out to eat, you really have no true control over what happens to your food before it hits the table.

Annotation 2020-02-18 114953.JPG

Edited by GA Dave
Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Pickels said:

If you like to eat in the buffet; would you bring your own [small] tongs?

Unless you thoroughly clean them between items, you would be guilty of cross contamination and could possibly put someone in danger because of their allergies.

 

If you are that nervous, bring gloves or wash your hands prior to eating.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pickels said:

If you like to eat in the buffet; would you bring your own [small] tongs?

Not permitted, nor should you want it to be permitted. Think that through. There is no way for NCL to control sanitation when everyone and their brother is bringing their own supplies to the garden cafe. NCL swaps tongs out every couple of hours. I'd wear gloves if I was overly concerned.

Edited by blcruising
Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing using the tongs will do is prevent you from spreading contamination onto the food. If the food you are picking up is already contaminated then the tongs won’t help. 
With regard to the earlier post about food being prepared with bare hands - many, many restaurants do this - and there is no problem with it if proper hygiene is used and hands are washed regularly. A virus only gets transferred from hands if it is on the hands - so it is as easy to transmit from a gloved hand as a bare hand. 
A positive (if one can find a positive) of the current circumstances is that most people will exercise better hygiene practices, which will reduce cold, flu and novo infections. 
The usual suspects of elevator buttons, slot machine buttons, and door handles are much more likely to be contaminated than the buffet food - but it then comes down to personal discipline to clean your hands after touching common surfaces - which is not easy. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NLH Arizona said:

Unless you thoroughly clean them between items, you would be guilty of cross contamination and could possibly put someone in danger because of their allergies.

 

If you are that nervous, bring gloves or wash your hands prior to eating.

Precisely this. ----^

 

While your motives are such to keep you safe (and I can understand that) you run the risk of making someone else extremely ill.  Nobody with a life-threatening allergy or severe condition like celiac disease is in a position to protect themselves if you cross-contaminate a bunch of offerings on the buffet.

Along these same lines, please... one food item, one serving utensil.  Please don't use the same spoon for neighboring items on the buffet line.  Yes, it's convenient, but.... please don't.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, happytravellers2 said:

The only thing using the tongs will do is prevent you from spreading contamination onto the food. If the food you are picking up is already contaminated then the tongs won’t help. 
With regard to the earlier post about food being prepared with bare hands - many, many restaurants do this - and there is no problem with it if proper hygiene is used and hands are washed regularly. A virus only gets transferred from hands if it is on the hands - so it is as easy to transmit from a gloved hand as a bare hand. 
A positive (if one can find a positive) of the current circumstances is that most people will exercise better hygiene practices, which will reduce cold, flu and novo infections. 
The usual suspects of elevator buttons, slot machine buttons, and door handles are much more likely to be contaminated than the buffet food - but it then comes down to personal discipline to clean your hands after touching common surfaces - which is not easy. 

Not sure, but I think GA Dave may have been referring to the cross contamination of bacteria between the chicken & beef... Didn't sound like the "Chef" washed his hands between the 2.  I totally agree with everyone here that there are many steps in the chain where contamination can occur, and we must all do our best to maintain proper hygiene.   Then the rest is up to fate - and I'll definitely take my chances.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We eat in the buffets for at least one meal each day on every cruise.  We've never been sick on a cruise (knock on wood).  If you are that paranoid about buffet food (our cruise last month, everyone was required to wash their paws at the entrance to the buffet - no exceptions) then wear a disposable plastic glove on your utensil hand.  I think people overthink the transmission of germs in the buffet.  I'm more careful about elevator buttons, door handles and railings.  Wash your hands every chance you get (and use hand cream to prevent dry skin).  You are probably more likely to pick up germs in every day life than on a cruise ship (ie, going to the grocery store, pharmacy, school, work place, etc). Keep your  hands away from your face.

Edited by Diver2014
Link to post
Share on other sites

Never really thought about the contaminated tong issue, not gonna worry now.  But the paper-towel idea might catch on.

Knock on wood - the only time I've gotten sick on a ship is when my allergies kick in because the person next to me in the theater or excursion bathed in perfume.  Much more dangerous to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gigito2 said:

Not sure, but I think GA Dave may have been referring to the cross contamination of bacteria between the chicken & beef... Didn't sound like the "Chef" washed his hands between the 2. 

 

Let's use some commonsense here (with a dollop of microbiology).

 

If the same employee is picking up steak and chicken and placing them on a grill (one with flames), any contamination is a surface contamination.

 

Exposure to the flames will quickly sterile those surfaces.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In all seriousness, three of us got sick in the Haven restaurant in September on two different nights from exactly the same thing. You don't need to go to the buffet. I spoke to the chef about it at the time the meal was served and I had sent it back. I told the crew that I had got sick the next day. On the second occasion I reasonably assumed that the issue would have been dealt with. It wasn't, and we then had two sick kids from a single bite each. It must have been crawling.

 

The chef actually stood there and argued the point with me when I pointed out that it was a food safety issue. He said I didn't know what I was talking about. From 2.00am I was in the bathroom. That was Day 2. I was sick for the rest of the cruise. Thanks NCL. Thanks very much.

 

Some manager sitting in a Gucci office with a PhD in food science or microbiology probably cares very much, and has sent out huge manuals, posters, emails, stocks of gloves, hats, thermometers, and checklists. The crew on the boat? Whatever. They don't care. They aren't eating it. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Homosassa said:

Let's use some commonsense here (with a dollop of microbiology).

 

If the same employee is picking up steak and chicken and placing them on a grill (one with flames), any contamination is a surface contamination.

 

Exposure to the flames will quickly sterile those surfaces.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Homosassa said:

Let's use some commonsense here (with a dollop of microbiology).

 

If the same employee is picking up steak and chicken and placing them on a grill (one with flames), any contamination is a surface contamination.

 

Exposure to the flames will quickly sterile those surfaces.

There are no open flames on a cruise ship. Everything cooked on electric flattops and grills. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BirdTravels said:

There are no open flames on a cruise ship. Everything cooked on electric flattops and grills. 

Did you read the thread?

 

If you did, you would know that my comment referred to other comments about an experience in a LAND based chain restaurant with a flame grill.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a few interesting comments on this thread:

The OPs original comment about the tongs, and the use of a patron’s own (unused) fork or spoon, should help in not picking up a contamination left on serving spoons or tongs by persons ahead in the queue - which could be many. And if the person has only used the tongs/utensils on the items they took - then I can’t see anything wrong with it?
The right thing to do before eating is as the poster who advised to wash hands and sanitize before entering the buffet, and then sanitize before eating. Anything you have touched in the buffet area could be potential issue - the chair comes to mind. 
To the poster who unfortunately got sick - one would assume if it was due to the food then numerous people would be affected. If you had sickness for the rest of the cruise it was likely novo. My DW and I were both violently sick for a day after eating at one of our favorite restaurants. After a day we were recovered. We suspected it came from a pepper sauce - which I thought had tasted a little strange. Unfortunately life is not perfect even at mainstream businesses, and notwithstanding this one incident I still go to that restaurant and have never had a subsequent issue. 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • Register Now for Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...