Salad Bar Dangers!

Playing What’s Lurking in Your Salad?

When making your salad at a salad bar, you could be unknowingly getting a free side of fecal matter! The Doctors investigate the hidden dangers lurking in the lettuce.

The Doctors went to an undisclosed location to determine just how safe (and dirty!) the salad bar can be. We swabbed the sneeze guard, the utensils and numerous salad bar ingredients (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, chicken and croutons) and sent the swabs to a lab to be analyzed for possible bacteria.

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Here are the far-from-appetizing results:


  • Positive for staphylococcus
  • High levels of coliform bacteria (which is found in dirt and fecal matter)



  • High levels of coliform bacteria

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We did uncover some good news from our investigation. The tomatoes, carrots, croutons and all the utensils are tested negative for any harmful types of bacteria.

ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says there is no reason to fret over this news.

“I think the takeaway here is to not freak out. I have been going to salad bars for a long time and to my knowledge I’ve never gotten sick from it,” he shares. “But I think [it reminds us] to be aware. If you’re going to a salad bar and it looks like nothing had been refreshed in days, don’t – DON’T! It’s not worth it.”

He reminds the audience that bacteria exists pretty much everywhere and that we encounter it daily.

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“I would argue that all the antioxidants I’m eating will help me fight off anything anyway,” he continues, reminding everyone to wash their hands after handling the salad bar utensils, which did not test positive for bacteria, but could easily have various viruses on them.

So continue to enjoy your favorite salad bar, but steer clear if it’s looking less-than stellar!