Getting Tough on Salad Bars

by Chris MacDonald

salad_bar_2This photo is from a restaurant salad bar in Massachusetts, where they apparently take their salad bar hygiene quite seriously. I wonder if the reference to a legal requirement is itself a legal requirement. I can imagine lots of ways to word this sign that would presumably achieve much of the same goal. You could say “please.” You could refer to the objective of maintaining hygiene, etc. Shoving the iron fist of the law into diners’ faces is a pretty strong normative move.

And if you’ve got to appeal to State Law (NB: this ain’t no mere local bylaw we’re talking about, mofo!) to get people to behave themselves at the salad bar, one wonders what the next step would be. Threats of prosecution? Surveillance cameras? An armed guard?

Also: Just what counts as “sampling,” here? Presumably they’re trying to stop people from grabbing individual garbanzo beans with their grubby fingers as they pass by on their way to the pasta salad. But what about using a serving spoon to put a sample onto my plate and… etc.?

Thanks to Dominic Martin for this photo.

Relatedly: I spotted this sign on a salad bar in South Carolina about a year ago. What could do a better job of implying parental oversight? Hey you. We see you with that dirty plate!