Food Safety Tips for Eating at Restaurants
Check inspection scores.
Many state health departments make restaurant inspection scores available on their website. Check them before going to a restaurant, or look for it when you get to the restaurant.
Look for certificates that show kitchen managers have completed food safety training.
Proper food safety training can help improve practices that reduce the chance of spreading food borne illnesses.
Look for safe food-handling practices.
Sick food workers can spread their germs to customers. Check to make sure workers are using gloves or utensils to handle foods.
Order food that’s properly cooked.
Certain foods, including meat, poultry, fish, and eggs need to be cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful germs. If any of these foods are undercooked send them back to be cooked until they are safe to eat.
Avoid food served lukewarm.
Cold food should be served cold, and hot food should be served hot. Germs that cause food poisoning grow quickly when food is in the danger zone, between 40˚F and 140˚F.
Ask your server if they use pasteurized eggs in foods such as Caesar salad dressing or custards.
Raw or undercooked eggs can make you sick unless they’re pasteurized to kill germs.
Take care of your leftovers quickly.
Refrigerate within 2 hours of eating out. If it is above 90ºF outside, refrigerate leftovers within 1 hour. Eat leftovers within three to four days. Throw them out after that time.
Dr. Mahesh Ochaney is a solo practitioner who has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1991. Dr. Ochaney’s compassionate primary care has been recognized several times over the years, including being named a 2018 Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and receiving a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation.