Dining out usually presents you with an incredible opportunity to enjoy something different from the conventional homemade meals. To some, it is an excellent opportunity to sample new cuisines and delicacies.
However, the risk of contracting foodborne illnesses or even being at the receiving end of food poisoning is not far from reality. Therefore, it becomes quite critical to be careful when dining out.
Luckily, there are lots of simple things that you can do to ensure you stay safe. Follow these five food safety tips when eating out, and everything shall be fine.
Check Out for Cleanliness
The first impression of a restaurant and the staff will give you a hint of whether you are in the right place or not. If the staff members do not look neat and organized, chances are they are unlikely to implement food safety measures.
The first impression of the public areas will also give you an idea of how things are behind the scenes. Also, take a minute and check out the level of cleanliness of bathrooms since these areas tell a lot about a restaurant’s commitment to cleanliness and food safety.
Request to See the Kitchen
Although this might sound a little bit awkward, it can help you so much. Do not be afraid to request for permission to tour the kitchen if you have concerns about the restaurant’s standards.
This might be your favorite restaurant in St-Leonard Montreal, and you simply do not want to eat somewhere else. If you find it difficult to request a tour of the restaurant’s kitchen, ask to speak with the manager, and be sure to inquire about their processes for handling food.
You should also ask about the measures the restaurant has put in place to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Ensure that Food Is Properly Cooked
It is absolutely critical to make sure that the food you are served is cooked thoroughly and at the recommended temperatures. Hot food should be served hot at 60°C and above, while cold food should be served cold at 5°C or less.
Certain foods are more likely to carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites than others. These foods include unpasteurized milk and undercooked meat.
Individuals with a low immune system, pregnant women, children, and those suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes should try to avoid raw foods. They include raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood.
Some of these foods that are served raw pose a higher risk of food poisoning. You should also avoid eating your fruits before washing them with clean water.
Try the Smell Test
Fresh and properly prepared food should always have a pleasant smell. Before you start eating your food, try to smell it and note what you feel. You should be cautious if there is no odor or if you feel an unusual smell. In case you notice something unusual, do not be hesitant to send the food back and request something else.
Avoid Ordering Dishes that Are Too Exotic or Off Seasonal
This tip is going to help you big time since you will never know which ingredients go into the preparation of such foods. Furthermore, avoid dishes that have plenty of off seasonal ingredients because the storage method of such ingredients/foods may not be effective.
Typically, if the ingredients are not stored properly as per the specified recommendations, they may pose a potential risk for food poisoning.