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When you walk into a restaurant you expect to eat food that is not only delicious but also safe. However, this isn’t always the case. Poor food safety habits by restaurants, especially during the rush of feeding hungry customers, can potentially lead to illness. Here are 10 signs you may be dining in a restaurant with low food safety practices.
Recommended Read: Food Safety Education Necessary for Older Adults
Bad First Impression
How many times have you been put off by your first impression of a restaurant? When you first walk into a restaurant, and you notice food particles on the floor and messy tables, it’s probably best for you to find somewhere else to dine.
Food isn’t the Right Temperature
When you’re ordering food, it should arrive fresh and hot. If the food is served lukewarm, then the food has been sitting long, giving a chance for bacteria to develop. Before you take another bite, you should ask your server to warm your meal to the right temperature.
Your Server Seems Sick
You don’t want your food to be served by someone ill as germs can spread easily. If your server has a running nose, make sure to be careful with the food he is serving you.
Water Tastes Different
If you notice that the water tastes different, then there’s a high probability that the restaurant isn’t using the right amount of chemical sanitizer to soften their water, which can potentially be toxic.
Sliced Produce Doesn’t Look Fresh
If your fruits, salads, and vegetables don’t look fresh, it is probably because they’ve been cut way before time. These fruits and vegetables have low vitamin content, as the vitamins are lost once they’ve been exposed to oxygen for a long period of time.
When the restroom has no paper towels, wet and messy sinks, and the stalls are just plain gross, it’s a sign that the restaurant isn’t keeping up with their cleaning schedule. A routine clean-up is an essential part of a clean and safe restaurant.
Kitchen Staff Unclean
The chef and the kitchen staff should have clean uniforms, hairnets or hats, and no visible jewelry. If you see unkempt hair and dirty outfits, then you may want to find a restaurant where personal hygiene is a priority.
Flies and Mouse Droppings
Pest control is important for a clean restaurant. Insects and rodents carry diseases causing bacteria and viruses. If you spy flies or mouse droppings on the floor, the restaurant has an infestation, and shouldn’t be operating.
Restaurants must ensure that the utensils are sanitized and cleaned well. Bacteria and germs can spread onto the cutlery every time they are used. If you notice filthy cutlery and utensils, then that’s a sign that the restaurant isn’t maintaining good hygiene.
Food Allergy Not Taken Seriously
If you have informed the manager or server about your food allergy and they don’t seem to understand you or take you seriously, then it’s a bad sign. It indicates that the staff may not be educated about the ingredients that contain allergens, and they may not have guidelines in place to serve you. If you have a food allergy and aren’t sure if the restaurant “gets” it, go find another place to dine.
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