Eating Out, but Staying Healthy: Number One Tip!

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So is it possible to dine-out and eat healthy? Yes, of course it is possible. There is a misnomer that when people eat out it is bad for a person’s health. Yet, truly you can get “really healthy” meals when eating-out depending on where you eat and what you choose.

So what is one of, if not the most important dining tip to keep you feeling healthy and alive?

This dining-out ‘health tip’ might surprise you…

  1. Is the restaurant you are dining at clean? That is, do they practice good hygiene and food safety?

When dining out, so many people first jump to the food choices to locate what they are going to eat, and I don’t think that is necessarily wrong, yet maybe consider doing this first before looking at the menu. Ask yourself: is this current restaurant’s hygiene practice(s) amazing?! You see, you can choose a very healthy menu item, but if the employees are not keeping up on the hygiene of the facility and their own hand washing and kitchen cleaning you might be in for an unhealthy illness experience after dining…

With all of the Hepatitis A scares of late, and food poisoning issues occurring at restaurants, people need to be vigilant when choosing a place to eat out at. Even when we are aware diners who look for clean restaurants with staff members practicing good hand washing and hygiene practices we can still be caught off guard by risks associated with dining-out.

I can vouch for the need to have a clean restaurant first-hand. Recently, my son and I had a health scare when we had dined-out at a local popular restaurant that I have always thought was very clean and well maintained.

Yet, even so, after discovering a news article on Hepatitis A exposure at ‘said restaurant’ I was then caught up in the potentiality that my son and I may have been exposed to this nasty virus. One of their chef’s had fallen ill and had come down with Hepatitis A.

Thankfully, we did not eat at the time the person was working. Yet, there is still a risk involved as we still dined during the possible exposure dates. My hope is that my choice in this restaurant due to its cleanliness, excellent high-quality food, and first-rate hygiene practices pays off and my son and I are in the clear of catching this virus.

Until we experience these kinds of food-related potential health issues, we don’t always think it can happen to us, and once it does… we become diners with an eye for cleanliness even more so than before.

What do I look for, as a person who dines out a lot?

Mainly, I tend to check out the bathrooms before I order my food. Are the doors to the bathroom washed down and clean? Have the sinks recently been cleaned and the floors too? Are the bathroom stalls clean and well maintained? Or, is there toilet paper everywhere on the ground, dirt in the grout, and on the walls? Are the mirrors clean and sinks without slime or mould?

If you think there is a cleanliness issue in the bathroom, or in and around your dining table… Simply leave. Chances are, if they aren’t maintaining the bathrooms then they aren’t keeping up with food safety and cleanliness in the kitchen.

Other things I look for when dining-out:

Is the food fresh? Are the lettuce leaves not wilted and are they free of redness when my salad arrives? Is my meal hot and steaming, or has it been left out for a while waiting to get to my table? Has my table been wiped down and are my utensils clean? Is there an employee wash your hands sign if both employees and diners use the same restrooms…

Stay tuned for more noteworthy articles around dining-out tips that will benefit you and your friends. I’d add more tips here, but this is getting to be a long article in itself. Thanks for stopping in and I hope you keep my dining cleanliness tips in mind and don’t hesitate to leave a poorly cared for dining location before you risk getting a food borne illness.

 

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