Restaurant Roulette – conclusion

At almost two weeks later, and plenty of time for something to develop when it comes to foodborne illness, I’m feeling fine. I’m not sick, Bill’s not sick and he joined me for all but one review, and none of my friends are sick. No signs of Norovirus, salmonella, or E. coli. I did feel like throwing up, but it was only because of the Country Buffet being absolutely disgusting. I have never felt as utterly foul as I had after eating there. It jacked my insides up, not from foodborne illness, but from being absolute craptastic food. I had heartburn for two days, I felt bloated, and just overall gross.

But no food poisoning.

I felt kind of blah after eating at Tiger Lily, but that’s most likely due to the salt. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING compared to Country Buffet. In fact, that will always and forever be my answer to gross restaurant circumstances, “this is nothing near Country Buffet.”

And you know what? We weren’t the only people eating at these restaurants (although it seemed like it at Tiger Lily). There wasn’t an outbreak in Fort Collins. There wasn’t an outbreak at Country Buffet, even (shockingly). There were many people eating at these restaurants and nobody was shut down, despite their continued inadequate ratings.

In five years of writing hundreds of reviews, I’ve had food borne illness twice. I know exactly where I picked it up from, and one of the restaurants is closed forever (Hibachi Super Buffet – look at that, another buffet!). I tried my best to get sick during Restaurant Roulette Week, choosing all of the riskiest dishes I possibly could so I could write about the process of filing a report with the Health Department and what happens to a restaurant after someone reports them.

No such luck (if you call that luck).

But if you do dine out and contract something, this is what you should do. What you shouldn’t do is just let it pass and only tell your friends that you got sick. It’s really important to let the health department know so they can go in and do an inspection. I feel that if more people did this, then we’d actually see some places close for poor standards, and/or restaurants step up their game with cleanliness.

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So, was Restaurant Roulette Week worth it? It was a good experiment to see how dangerous some foods were, and if food safety impacted the flavor. I think it certainly did for Country Buffet, possible Tiger Lily, and definitely not for Bann Thai. One thing is for certain though, we don’t have a problem with food safety in Fort Collins. It was difficult to find restaurants that truly failed. I never looked at reports prior to eating, and I won’t start now (especially not now).

 

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