I am generally repulsed at any type of buffett. But the Carnival Ships that I have sailed on kept them very nicely. If however you have any health problems, or are immune compromised in any way, avoid the buffett and salad bars as even well kept ones are risky for certain populations. There are so many options, that you can still have a wonderful selection without using the buffett.
I know some people who bring their own salads on board. They keep the lettuce and vegetables separate in mini-ice chests that they stash in their suitcases, along with those individual plastic-pak servings of dressing.
When they want a salad at a meal they make them up in their staterooms, then give them to their cabin stewards to transport to the dining room where the salads are served to them. Most cruise lines charge a "greenage fee" of about $6 per salad for doing this, but it's well worth it to those who crave a good, safe, home-grown salad.
OK, people. Sorry. The devil made me do that. I apologize. For the record, all of the above is VBG.
I think the salad bars are no more or less likely to be contaminated than any other buffet area on the ship. I personally had a salad every day. Especially that lovely Caesar Salad!!
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