First and only time I've been at a Golden Corral, I watched a kid about 6 or 7 years old taste testing the soft-serve ice cream by sticking his fingers into the dispensers and into his mouth, several times.
They had a bunch here that were shut down in Ohio because the franchise owner was letting them get really hilarious levels of crusty. This took place in the early to mid 00's. He was just using them as fronts or something. Which is pretty common in this region from the sound of it.