Are Fast Food Salads Healthy?
Cold dishes, particularly those that primarily consist of pieces of raw vegetables, raw greens, and a variety of toppings are generally referred to as salads. Salads are prepared in a variety of ways based on individual preferences or taste. It is quite common to find salads made with different types of garnishes. These are including but not limited to small pieces of seafood such as fish, shrimp, prawn, in addition to other meaty chunks like beef as well as poultry such as chicken and turkey. Pieces of cheese may similarly be used as garnishes for salads.
Irrespective of the different variety of ways that salads are made. The dish is usually bound together with thick sauces such as whipped cream, mayonnaise, with gelatin. A complete salad dish is normally expected to be accompanied by a side dish usually referred to as a salad dressing or simply dressing. A dressing can either be creamy dressing, or a mixture of vinegar with various herbs and spices which may have a mixture or emulsion of salad oil.
Having fully understood what a salad is and how it is generally expected to be made. We may proceed to consider whether salads prepared within the confines of a fast food restaurant are actually healthy. Fast food restaurants are particularly known for the speed of food preparation albeit sometimes at a compromise of wholesome and healthy preparation.
For a salad, however, knowing it happens to be such a fast dish in terms of preparation… The need for a compromise in healthy preparation for speed is unlikely to arise. Fast food restaurants typically prepare salads the same way home cooks or high-end restaurants do.
It is important to consider that there may be some rare occasions in which a number of isolated scenarios could contribute towards making salads made at fast food restaurants less healthy than they would normally be. These factors include the manner in which cooking staff maintain personal hygiene or lack thereof, the nature food storage, the sanitation of the kitchen environment, as well as the sources from which the ingredients are obtained.
Personal hygiene of individuals handling food in a fast food restaurant goes a long way in determining whether the food you are being served is healthy or not. This is because any kind of food immediately becomes relatively unhealthy as soon as it is exposed to harmful microorganisms people carry around such as viruses and bacteria.
Food storage as well as how clean the kitchen environment looks, are likewise important factors to consider. When seafood, poultry, and other meat-based garnishes are stored in warm temperature over an extended period, they become prone to spoilage. The use of chemicals such as insecticides to sanitize the kitchen environment may also lead to food contamination. Other seemingly harmless chemicals such as air fresheners can produce gases that could interact negatively to foods where it is exposed.
These factors are all internal in nature so it is equally important to look at possible external influences. Fast food restaurants should purchase ingredients and raw foods from reliable sources. For example, it is preferable to make use of fresh organic vegetables in preparing the salad as opposed to the use of processed ones. Even in cases where the kitchen personnel prefer to make use of seafood for the garnishes, they must also ensure they purchase fresh them fresh as seafood are particularly susceptible to easy spoilage. Spoilt seafood as well as other kinds of meat garnishes are not so easy to spot in a frozen state. Consequently, the need for proper examination during purchase cannot be overemphasized.
In as much as all these factors above are very much valid in the respective situations in fast food restaurants. The factors by extension may as well be applicable to all other types of restaurants and home kitchen environments even though the likelihood of these scenarios taking place is higher in fast food restaurants. At the end of the day, salads made in fast food restaurants are as healthy as salads that are found in anywhere else like restaurant/at home. Although situations normally causing salads made in fast food restaurants to become unhealthy could arise, the situations only make up very minor cases which do not really matter in most cases.