Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning When Dining Out

Dining out often provides an interesting change of taste and environment. However, it makes you vulnerable to food poisoning, which can spoil your evening and even put you in the hospital.

So, should you avoid dining out?


With the right precautions, you can protect yourself and avoid getting food poisoning when you dine out.

In this article, you will learn how to do it.

Focus on your surroundings

Most restaurants don’t allow guests into their cooking area. Hence, you can’t inspect it. Nevertheless, a restaurant’s cleanliness and organization level often indicate what goes on in its kitchen. For this reason, carefully inspect every area of the restaurant you can observe. This includes the entry and dining areas, the restroom, and the serving area.

In addition, pay close attention to the attendants’ organization and level of tidiness. Finally, look out for a health inspection certificate.

A restaurant with a high level of organization, a health inspection certificate, and a tidy house is probably safe to eat at.

Order the local dishes or house specials

There is more possibility of contamination with a foreign dish than a local dish for several reasons, including long storage of supplies. As a result, stick to local dishes or the most popular meals a restaurant offers when you dine out. These dishes are frequently ordered, so the restaurant regularly replenishes its supplies.

Avoid raw meat, seafood, egg, and poultry

Raw foods like sushi, sashimi, steak tartare, and carpaccio often contain bacteria and parasites. These can cause food poisoning, especially for people with weakened immune systems like children, elders, pregnant women, and people with chronic diseases like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, etc.

So, we recommend you avoid them.

Return foods that aren’t properly cooked

Always check if your order is well-cooked before you start eating. If it doesn’t seem fine to you, it probably isn’t well-cooked. And you don’t want to have it in your stomach.

Also, ensure that hot foods are steaming hot or above 60 degrees Celsius when served and cold foods are ice-cold or below five degrees Celsius. This is because bacteria and other contaminants thrive in lukewarm conditions between five and 60 degrees Celsius.

Beware of cracks

Cracks in glasses and porcelains are ideal growth spots for bacteria and other contaminants. Cracks in walls serve as entry points for pests and other organisms into the restaurant area. These two factors increase the risk of contamination in a restaurant.

If you observe either of them in a restaurant, it is a good sign not to eat there.

Avoid ice cubes

It might not seem like it but ice cubes can cause food poisoning. The reason is simple: the water used to make these cubes can be contaminated. Also, the buckets and ice machines used can be unclean, leaving the ice cubes they produce susceptible to bacteria.

So, avoid taking ice cubes in restaurants, especially if they look shady and unreliable.

Take note of your food allergies

If you have food allergies, be watchful of what you eat, especially in restaurants. When you dine out, always enquire as to the content of a meal before you order it. This way, you can avoid ingredients that trigger your allergy.

Controlling the safety of the food you eat can be difficult, especially if you aren’t preparing it. However, by putting the aforementioned tips to use, you will reduce your chances of experiencing food poisoning when you dine out.

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