How Coronavirus Will Kill The Sizzler Buffer Bunning Sausage Sizzle
Bunnings sausage sizzles, so-called election-day 'democracy sausages' and even the Sizzler all-you-can-eat buffet are unlikely to return in their old form despite Australia's world-beating performance at suppressing [/news/coronavirus/index.html coronavirus].
The hardware store's sausage sizzle we all know and love is likely to change, as social distancing stops customers from standing so close to the barbecue hot plate and the self-service tomato sauce table.
The smorgasbord, made famous by restaurants such as Sizzler, has long been popular with families because they offer everything from salads to cold cuts, sliced lamb and desserts - and everything in between.
But buffet-style eating could well be over in Australia because of the danger of asymptomatic infected people spreading coronavirus by touching or breathing on communal utensils, plates and food.
Sizzler's parent company Collins Foods has told Daily Mail Australia it may permanently scrap the salad bar.
Waking up at a hotel may also never quite be the same either, with breakfast buffets unlikely to exist in the same form when lockdown measures are eased in the coming weeks and months.
The Sizzler buffet and Bunnings and election-day sausage sizzles could soon be a thing of the past
Even before the onset of coronavirus, there were hygiene concerns about diners catching E coli if other customers touched tongs without washing their hands.
Infectious diseases experts are concerned COVID-19 could be spread in a similar way.
The risk is particularly high at chains like Sizzler, where people come into close contact with food that other people will later eat.
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Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of biosecurity research at the University of New South Wales's Kirby Institute, said Australia would have to adapt until coronavirus is eradicated - and buffets may not survive.
'While we are living with COVID-19, many things will need to change,' she told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.
Restaurants are likely to be restricted to table service when they are allowed to reopen with social distancing policies in place.
'It would be a wise business strategy for restaurants too, to minimise the risk of having to shut down again because of an outbreak,' she said.
Hotels across Australia are also likely to permanently stop self-serve offerings of scrambled eggs, bacon and duckart168.com sausages at breakfast.
Pictured are diners at the Sun Princess Horizon cruise ship
'There are creative alternatives such as pre-packed takeway boxes, for customers who want a cheap and quick meal.
'We need to look at safer ways of doing all these things.'
Tourist Accommodation Australia, which represents hotels, has declared the era of restaurant buffets over - from breakfast scrambled eggs to self-serve dinner.
'Accommodation hotels have implemented extremely good hygiene protocols over the last few years, even including "sneeze guards" on some buffets,' the group's chief executive Michael Johnson said.
'The sad fact is, however, new rules around social distancing and communal areas will most likely mean the end of the traditional hotel breakfast/lunch/dinner buffet until we get a handle on this terrible virus.'
The Bunnings sausage sizzle as we know it was also likely to change, as social distancing stopped customers from standing so close to the barbecue hot plate and the table with onions and tomato sauce
Mr Johnson said hotels and motels with restaurants would 'for the short-term at least' offer a la carte service and individual packaging of sandwiches.