You’ve taken the plunge to start a brand new, healthy and active lifestyle but if you think just exercise or healthy eating is going to do the trick, think again. You choose to take your new lifestyle to the restaurant and order a chicken salad but hold it right there! How do you know the food is safe? Restaurants, takeaway food outlets and cafes have the duty to serve food that can be consumed safely. However, there is a risk of food poisoning if the restaurant staff shows some shady characteristics.
How to ensure that the food you eat is safe
You can start by only sticking to foods that are safe to eat when you’re out. Try your best to avoid foods that may make you sick. Foods that contain a detrimental level of bacteria or viruses do not always look, taste or smell bad – in fact, they look just as clean as foods that are safe or homemade. Bacteria that cause food poisoning are often already present in the food from the start or are transferred during preparation, cooking, storage or serving.
Bacteria can easily proliferate in some foods than others. Make sure you are careful when you try the following foods at a restaurant:
- Raw meat
- Cooked meat, including poultry and foods that contain them
- Dairy. Try your best to avoid foods with dairy products, especially cheesecake and custard tarts
- Seafood and any food containing seafood and even fish stock
- Prepared fruit or vegetable salads
- Fast foods such as pizza, sandwiches, wraps and rolls
Tips for eating at a restaurant
When you’re eating out, make sure you follow these guidelines while buying food:
- Buy food which is served hot (60 degrees Celsius and above)
- If the food is supposed to be cold, make sure it is in a refrigerated cabinet or in an icebox. It should feel cold when you are eating it
- Avoid buying food which looks like it has been lying around outside for a while. For example, burgers with limp lettuce, bread that is slightly soggy due to the humidity of the restaurant etc.
- All meat varieties should be cooked through and shouldn’t show any pink
- Steak and whole cuts should be cooked the way you ask
- Takeaway foods should be in the required temperature
Why is safety training important
Restaurant staff should be trained in safe food handling for the following reasons:
- Workers and staff members are handling the food and can be responsible for the transfer of bacteria
- Safe food handling can reduce the risk of food poisoning in customers and increase the restaurant’s credibility
- Food safety is a health code requirement
- Food safety will increase the quality of the food being served and reduce wastage and spoilage
- Employees begin to appreciate their jobs more when they do things the right way
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