Holisticdetoxer - I only wish I knew if it happened in other countries. I've never had the chance to travel out of the U.S.A., it would be interesting to find out though.
I live in a pretty rural area, so restaurant choices are limited. So, I suppose it only happens everywhere that I get a chance to eat, so it's not as though I know if it does happen anywhere else. It's not something I really want to experiment with either, nothing like being a couple of hours from home in unfamiliar territory and having to find a bathroom.
Anarie - I have had other foods make me temporarily ill. It is pretty rare though, and would be hard to pinpoint a specific item. I don't have any alcohol anytime, so I wouldn't know about the wine. I do have lunch meat pretty regular though and it doesn't bother me. I will have to start paying attention to all the extra ingredients and see if I notice any type of sulfite listed as a preservative then pay attention to any reaction I may have.
They often use a preservative with sulfites. Do you have a similar reaction to any other food or beverage? Many wines and lunch meats also have sulfite preservatives, and some seafood, especially frozen shrimp. I think most people who are sensitive to it get a rash rather than tummy issues, but it's definitely something to look into, and maybe ask your doctor about.
Fitness Minutes: (20,400)
2,704 10/8/11 1:29 P
Do you have this experience at salad bars in other countries too? I highly doubt you'd find the same preservatives or chemicals on the vegetables at salad bars in Mexico or Turkey (just two of the places I've recently eaten at salad bars, off the top of my head). What about at organic and vegan restaurants? It seems weird that it happens every time, everywhere.
I've never had a problem with a salad bar. Well, that's not true... I got really sick eating from a salad bar in Egypt... but that's not exactly surprising!
Now that you mention it, it very well might be some type of preservative used to make things "last longer"..and if it is room temp when it gets to you, it could be something from sitting out. I haven't gotten sick for the most part when eating at a salad bar, but I can totally see something like this being an issue
10/8/11 10:03 A
Thanks for all the replies.
I don't think it's a mental thing. It actually took me a long time to figure out it was the salad bar's at a couple of local places that made me sick. For a long time, I would just get sick when I ate at those restaurants, so I avoided them. Then one day I ate at a place that doesn't usually make me sick, and got a salad with my food and it made me have to run to the bathroom.
I tried different meals, the same meals, and just experimented on myself really, and found that only on days that I got salad did I get ill.
I always assumed they must use something on at least the lettuce to keep it from wilting and turning brown while out on the salad bar. It could very well be something they wash their vegetables in.
I just wish I knew what it was that was getting me at these places. I thoroughly enjoy a good salad. It's one of my favorite meals.
10/8/11 8:20 A
You might be sensitive to the produce wash they use. I cannot eat from a salad bar at Ruby Tuesday. Other salad bars I can but not there. I was told by my son who used to work for RT that they use a special produce wash(I can't think of the name of it now). It is probably not in your head. When I eat from the salad bar there, I end up in the bathroom within minutes of eating it.
There's also the possibility that it's purely mental. At a salad bar you have no idea how they've handled the food, how long it's been out, what other customers have done to it. Maybe just the very idea is enough to (subconsciously) make you sick when you eat there.
If the salad bars themselves put something on the food that made a lot of people sick, they'd have known about it by now. So it's less likely it's something they do, and more likely either psychosomatic, or you have a rare allergy/reaction to some minor residue like the PP said.
Fitness Minutes: (22,796)
189 10/7/11 10:16 P
I don't know of anything that they might spray on the vegetables to keep them fresh. Most places I've been to keep everything very cold and switch out the product when it starts to get weird. Perhaps there's something industrial that they are cleaning the produce with ahead of time, or something that they are washing the bins (or the salad bar itself) in that is leaving a chemical film that is upsetting your stomach. If it's the salad bar at a specific place, you might try asking them that same question. I find it an odd problem, especially since not every place with a salad bar handles their food the same way.
10/7/11 10:08 P
I've known it for years, I can't eat a salad from a salad bar. Salad made from fresh ingredients at home, they are ok, I can eat those all day long and they don't bother me. It's the salad bars that do it, and in short time too, usually within 30 minutes.
I'm wondering, does anyone know what it is exactly they put on the vegetables in a salad bar to keep them fresh? I obviously have a bad reaction to it, and would like to know what it is.
Sorry if I put this in the wrong place, it seemed appropriate.
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