How To Avoid Getting Food Poisoning In Restaurants

July 2, 2020 Ofir Broides Vavker

Foodborne illnesses are too common for anyone to turn a blind eye to. The risk of catching food poisoning (or other dangerous diseases, such as Norovirus, Brucellosis, and so on) when eating out in a restaurant or a catered event is one a lot of people would love to diminish. We’re here to show you that you can take steps to decrease your chances of suffering from foodborne illnesses, with just a few actions.

Wash your hands

Norovirus, causing an upset stomach, is immune to alco-gel. Luckily, it is not immune to soap. Simple (but thorough) hand washing can wash away the disturbing virus, with soap dissolving its structure and rendering it inactive. Last thanksgiving, a whole school district in Colorado had to be shut down because of a Norovirus outbreak.

Washing hands before eating or touching sensitive entrees to the body is critical in slowing the spread of such viruses. Washing hands is effective in the fight against many germs and viruses, and is an important habit to have before eating food, whether you think you’ll use your hands or not.

If you want to know how to wash your hands properly, we have a pamphlet here. Some restaurants even print out their own pamphlets, hanging them up by the sinks. After washing your hands well, be careful not to touch communal areas that could be infected after hand washing, such as doorknobs or faucet valves.

Eat the right foods

You can find a list of foods that are risky online, but we can name a few. You might be surprised, but we recommend steering clear of sprouts. Falfala sprouts grow in damp places where salmonella and E-Colli bacteria thrive, and can pass these germs on when consumed.

Restaurant made mayonnaise can also pose a threat, with raw eggs having a higher risk of containing Salmonella bacteria. Though restaurants are usually very proud of their self-made dipping sauces, we recommend at least asking about the ingredients and considering it before risking a bite.

Raw or unpasteurized milk and cheeses are quite common in charming cafes waiting by the side of the road, boasting their fresh and local cheeses. There is indeed a lot of appeal in the idea of receiving foods “from farm to table”, but it might be unsafe when it comes to dairy products, and raw meats as well. The Brucella germ, causing Brucellosis, is a highly infectious disease caused by the ingestion of unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat from infected animals. It is also called “Mediterranean fever”. Catching the unpleasant illness is a horrible experience, not to mention a dangerous one. Steer clear of these risky foods.  

Pick a hygienic restaurant

When picking a restaurant to dine at, you consider a few things: the price range, the serving time, the type of foods you can get there… but do you consider the question, how likely will I be to have an upset stomach after eating there? Well, you should. Food is great – it’s comforting, it’s tasty, many people even consider it a hobby to eat, but it’s just food. It’s meant to sustain us, keep our bodies strong and ready to face everyday challenges. You should not have to pay a physical price and suffer stomach pains because of food. Picking a restaurant that you trust hygienically is just as important as checking if its price range suits your needs. You have hygienic needs, too, and a lot of people tend to disregard them and suffer the consequences. How can you tell if a restaurant is doing a good hygienic job? Clean dining areas are just one way. Kitchens using gloves tend to be less hygienic because gloves are not properly changed as often as they should.

Soapy offers an easy solution for kitchen managers wishing to keep a closer eye on hand hygiene standards in their kitchens. The CleanMachine is a touch-free “smart sink”, allowing a perfect wash cycle every time. It employs facial recognition which allows managers access to important group and individual user information, ensuring good hand hygiene is practiced during every shift in the kitchen. The smart handwashing station is extremely efficient in both water and reagent usage, saving up to 95% of water otherwise wasted. If you want to learn more about the CleanMachine, you can contact us here.  

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