2025 W Main St.
Salem, VA 24153

Post-COVID Buffet Safety Precautions

Mamma Maria’s in Salem, VA, Offers Protections for Patrons and Staff

Our restaurant implements post-COVID buffet safety precautions at Mamma Maria’s in Salem, VA. During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, experts predicted that smorgasbords and buffets might be gone for good. After a year of lockdowns and quarantining, food service establishments reopened their doors for dine-in customers.

Restaurants featuring buffets continue to play it safe. However, as COVID-19 cases continue to decline, states have begun implementing safety precautions. This post will explain some general safety precautions that you can take to protect yourself at our buffet.

Today, we will explain buffet etiquette in this post-COVID world. Then, we will share information on how to serve up a safe smorgasbord. The number one responsibility of our staff here at Mamma Maria’s is to keep our customers safe. We hope this blog can help you protect yourself as society navigates the new normal in Salem, VA.


Practice Proper Buffet Etiquette Around Any Smorgasbord

Buffets have been around for decades. Everything from Sunday brunch, wedding receptions, and more has an array of food for people to enjoy. However, buffets can inspire bad habits including, overeating. When partaking in the smorgasbord, practice the proper etiquette to keep your meal and everyone else’s dish bacteria-free. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


Grab a New Plate

You may not want to waste plates. However, getting a fresh one for every food trip can prevent bacteria from spreading. After dipping your fork back and forth and spreading around your germs, they can get on the serving spoon. The reason why empty plates disappear so fast is because the restaurant doesn’t want anyone to get sick.

Go Up With Your Kids

Kids are wonderful but can get into everything. Whether at the supermarket or at a buffet, kids will pick something up, taste it, dislike it, then put it back. Keep a close eye on what your kids pick up with their bare hands. Parents can fill plates for their youngsters until they learn how to be safe and selective. Doing so can keep them safe and other patrons as well.

Ask If You Do Not Know

Are you not sure which is the low-fat dressing? Don’t taste it; ask the server. If you are not sure you will like it, dip a little on your plate to sample. If you decide not to eat it, ask for a new dish. Having a fresh, clean plate can prevent germs from transmitting through food.


Here’s How You Can Serve Up A Safe Buffet

Planning a bacteria-free smorgasbord takes time to figure out. With proper preparation, you can tempt party guests with fun platters while helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. We do it every day at Mamma Maria’s.


Size Is Important

Prepare several small platters in advance and replace the serving dishes with fresh ones throughout the evening.

Take Temperatures

You must keep hot foods at a temperature of 140 degrees or warmer. Use a food thermometer to check and serve the hot food in chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. You must keep cold foods at 40 degrees or cooler. Keep them refrigerated and retain the chill if they are out on the table for more than two hours.

Keep the Food Fresh

Replace empty serving dishes with freshly filled ones. Refrain from adding new food to an already filled serving dish. Be aware that bacteria from people’s hands can contaminate the food and that germs can multiply at room temperature.

Remember the Two-Hour Rule

Watch the clock and discard any food left out on the table for more than two hours. The exception to this rule is whether or not you keep the food hot or cold. Keep an eye on leftovers as well. Keep them refrigerated until you eat them.


The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that employees practice professional hygiene when dealing with food at buffets. The same thing goes for food pick-up and delivery services and retail food stores and restaurants.


Can You Reimagine a Buffet in This Post-COVID World?

As restaurants have adjusted to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, buffets are one popular aspect that’s tough to reimagine. Sharing spoons and standing in line next to other hungry customers seems in direct opposition to stopping the spread. In the new normal, buffet goers can expect to see restaurant staff to enforce social distancing and sanitizing precautions.

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the restaurant industry. For the foreseeable future, restaurants will operate differently and with a keen eye on safety. While everyone looks forward to eating at their favorite restaurant again, safety is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19.


We Make Our Buffet Safe for You and Your Family and Friends

Are you looking for a safe and delicious smorgasbord in Salem, VA? If so, come to Mamma Maria’s. Our staff takes great pride in keeping our areas clean and practicing safe social distancing and other precautions. Mamma Maria’s offers a great buffet for large gatherings and family dinners that consists of authentic Italian cuisine and more.

Mamma Maria’s staff welcomes you and your family to dinner in our banquet hall in Salem, VA. We will do our best to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable dining experience with us. Contact us today to see how we can help you.



For great Italian cuisine, call Mamma Maria’s at (540) 389-2848, or email us. Follow us on Facebook for updates and new dishes we create. Keep in touch for more about our post-COVID buffet safety precautions in Salem, VA.