Many of us are excited to eat at restaurants as it’s a fun way to socialize, and we don’t have to prepare or cook the food ourselves.
Visiting restaurants is fun until you get food poisoning.
I’ve written about eating healthy in restaurants before, but never about food poisoning, which I experienced twice.
This made me question whether I ever wanted to eat anything but home prepared food again.
According to WebMD.com “Getting sick from eating food that has germs, viruses, or parasites is more common than you might think. An estimated 48 million Americans, that’s 1 out of every 6, come down with food poisoning every year. Most get better on their own without medical treatment.“
Here are just a few tips I picked up about eating in restaurants, and wanted to share with you:
- Inspection Scores
Check out the food safety inspection ratings (online or in person) at restaurants in your area.
- Restaurant and Bathroom Cleanliness
Look around once you get inside the restaurant, is it clean? Are the bathrooms clean? If not, you might want to think about going elsewhere.
- Doggy Bags
The Food Safety and Inspection Service says “Bacteria grow rapidly between the temperatures of 40° F and 140° F. After food is safely cooked, hot food must be kept hot at 140° F or warmer to prevent bacterial growth. Within 2 hours of cooking food or after it is removed from an appliance keeping it warm, leftovers must be refrigerated. Throw away all perishable foods that have been left in room temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is over 90° F, such as at an outdoor picnic during summer).”
- Watch out For Salsa and Guacamole
Guacamole and Salsa are often made in large batches and are often not refrigerated properly which can be dangerous and can sicken lots of people.
- Cook Staff Cleanliness
Watch out for dirty uniforms, aprons and clothes, as cook staff should not be wiping hands on their uniforms which can harbor bacteria and spread to food.
- Salad Bars and Buffets
Salad Bars and Buffets are many times not kept at the correct temperature. Many people touch the food and utensils and bacteria can multiply rapidly.
- Food Turnover
Order the popular items on the menu as turnover is high, and the food hasn’t been lying in the fridge.
- Hot Foods
Eat hot food as heat kills germs.
Do you frequent restaurants and have you ever experienced food poisoning? Please leave a comment!