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Alas! The Fit and Fresh Salad Shaker – good idea, bad design

rworange Jan 1, 2008 10:55 AM

On a scale from 1 to 10 … looks 10, use 3
http://www.amazon.com/Fit-Fresh-210-F...

It is a take-along 4 cup salad bowl with a built-in dressing dispenser. The lid contains a storage section with a spork and knife.

But wait … there’s more … a snap-in ice pack under the lid to keep the greens cool and crispy for hours.

The Amazon link just out and out lies with this claim … “Durable plastic, easy to clean, lid fits tightly and securely:”

I was thrilled with my purchase (at Target) and in giddy anticipation of the new, svelte me daintily picking at the green goodness this would contain for lunch I peeled off the plastic wrap.

“Oh crumbs” I said in dismay after eyeing the inner workings. .

I didn’t exactly say “crumbs” but one New Year’s resolution is to be a classier broad. I won’t repeat the term the uncouth 2007 me used.

PROBLEM 1
The salad dispenser has a flimsy little latch to keep it secure. This wasn’t going to last long without wearing out.

PROBLEM 2
The salad dispenser has to be aligned with a notch in the spork holder lid or that won’t stay closed.

The way the dispenser works is it is screwed into the top. Unscrewing it pops the flimsy latch releasing dressing onto the salad. Shake container and salad is dressed. That part I like.

BUT … to align everything makes it impossible to actually unscrew the top. It fits too tightly and won’t budge. At one point a pair of pliers was used to grip the top and give extra leverage to unscrew the salad dispenser.

The old uncouth me used the word ‘screw’ in a different context during that process.

PROBLEM 3
The ice pack is useless. Maybe if the container is kept in a bag to keep the cool from escaping it would not melt an hour out of the freezer. If you read the Amazon reviews there are also reports that it can leak on the salad with whatever that blue liquid is in the ice pack. Ick.

PROBLEM 4
Spork. So badly designed I have yet to be able to spear a single tomato, cucumber or lettuce leaf. I did once carefully coax a pomegranate seed onto it … which then rolled off onto my lap during the trip from salad shaker to mouth.

PROBLEM 5
Cleaning is a bear … which is not the word I really want to use.

There are all these nooks and crannies in the lid with the spork holder and salad dispenser that oil and little pieces if salad get caught in it. I never seem to get all the olive oil off the lid when washing. Not to mention that when the lid is removed after shaking there’s this drippy, oily lid that often makes a mess. The space around the spork/dispenser isn’t useful. This should have just been a flat surface that wiped clean.

PROBLEM 6
The lid fits TOO securely.

It is hard to pry off. If not careful, because it is so difficult to align it is easy not to fully snap it on. I won’t repeat the dialogue the day the top flew off mid-shake covering the room and me with pieces of oily salad … curses … oiled again.

NICE TO HAVE
I wish the Fit and Fresh people would fix the design flaws. There is so much I like about the concept.

It holds just the right amount of salad for me. Also, the square shape is nice because sometimes I top the greens with a sandwich in a plastic bag … a two-in-one lunch carrier.

It would be great if the dressing dispenser was clear and had markings by tablespoon to measure the amount being added.

A snap on handle might be nice to make it easier to carry or just have a little insulated carrier for it and lose the useless ice pack. Anyway, remembering to put the icepack in the freezer the night before is just another chore.

I thought this was a great idea from one of the Amazon comments …

“The dressing holder would work better if they just had it sit in the hole and allow you to remove it with bottom lid attached. Then you could just pull it out quick and easy and pull the bottom open and dribble the dressing around the salad as you wish or even use it as a dip holder. No screwing it in and fiddling with the bottom opening thing. Easier to wash too. A gal didn't invent this one!”

That would allow packing in more lettuce since now there needs to be enough room to let the cap open.

Put a REAL fork in there. It is nice that it is heavy-duty plastic though. The spork section I use to keep soggy items like sliced tomatoes until ready to eat so it is not a total loss.

And … fix all the above.

Or some other company … please make a better version of this. It is a great idea.

Until then … I wouldn’t recommend it. Read the Amazon reviews if my sad, cautionary tale isn’t enough to discourage you.

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  1. leanneabe RE: rworange Jan 2, 2008 01:38 PM

    I think I remember hearing bad things about the Fit & Fresh ice pack, so I passed on it and bought a Salad Blaster from The Container Store.
    http://www.amazon.com/TVTimeDirect-co...

    It works a little better, but the dressing "cup" is still a pain to clean. I stuck the lid in the dishwasher after using it, but that meant I had to wait a few days (because we don't run the dw daily). It's enough of a pain that I haven't used it again (at least, that's my excuse for why I haven't taken more salads to work for lunch). I think I'll just go buy a tiny Tupperware-type container for dressing and put my salad in a storage container.

    I also don't understand why someone can't make a salad container that incorporates a simple small dressing container and lid. Why are all the dressing container components so curvy and hard to clean??

    1 Reply
    1. re: leanneabe
      rworange RE: leanneabe Jan 2, 2008 05:19 PM

      Thanks for the report about Salad Blaster.

      "Why are all the dressing container components so curvy and hard to clean??"

      Like that Amazon review said a woman didn't invent these and probably no women were used in the testing of the product ... if either WAS tested ...which I seriously doubt.

    2. a
      A Ron RE: rworange Jan 3, 2008 07:24 AM

      Oddly enough, todays lunch is in one of these right now that the bride bought and used once.

      Thanks for the warnings as to how my lunch hour is going to play out.

      1. leanneabe RE: rworange Jan 10, 2008 11:10 AM

        I just wanted to post what I've been doing with salads until someone redesigns these "salad containers". It's rare that I eat salad that's 100% lettuce (because that's really boring), so I've been taking a typical plastic container and pouring about 2 Tb dressing on the bottom. Then, I toss in my non-soggy items (cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, beans, etc). This creates a platform, of sorts, so that when I add the lettuce the lettuce isn't sitting in the dressing. I store it upright in the work fridge and at lunchtime I shake the whole container like crazy. The add-ins carry dressing through the lettuce and I end up with a nice salad that isn't soggy. Plus, I have only one container to clean and it isn't all crazy-curvy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: leanneabe
          danhole RE: leanneabe Jan 10, 2008 01:50 PM

          What I used to do for my daughters was to make the salad, put in a ziploc bag and squeeze all the air out of it. The dressing went into a separate container that was a little tiny snap top, leak proof container (I think I got it from a dollar store) and bacon bits, and/or croutons went into another ziploc bag. I packed all of this into another reusable plastic container,that they could use as a bowl, and at lunch they could assemble their own salads easily.

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