Dining out has become an exciting experience again as last year, millions of restaurants all over the world have reopened with new concepts and dishes for their returning customers. But while the days of restaurant dining are here once more, some people can’t help but wonder if they can potentially get sick while enjoying their favorite dishes.
It’s not just COVID that’s the issue here. Since then, we’ve all become more conscious about health and safety during the pandemic, public places, such as restaurants, are now being closely observed to see if they follow the basic health codes.
About 800 foodborne outbreaks are reported to the CDC every year, and most of these take place in restaurants. For your health and wellbeing, it’s important to stay vigilant while you’re eating in your favorite restaurant. Here’s how to know if your favorite dining spot is as clean as it should be.
There are Zero Pests Within the Premises
The presence of pests in a restaurant can be alarming since not only do they negatively affect a dining establishment’s reputation, but they can also cause a host of diseases. Some of the most common yet dangerous pests found in homes and businesses include rats, mice, and cockroaches, and these pests can spread germs and bacteria either by contaminating food with their droppings or through bites. Rats, in particular, are fond of places where they can have regular access to food, so it’s not unusual for restaurants in busy cities such as NYC or Chicago to have recurring rat problems.
Since vermin can transmit serious diseases such as leptospirosis, salmonellosis, hantavirus and rat-bite fever, among others, be on the lookout for these critters whether you’re dining indoors or al fresco at your favorite restaurant. Ideally, restaurant staff should be proactive and call-in experts in case they spot signs of a pest infestation. If there are zero pests within the premises, that’s a good sign that the staff is serious about keeping their establishment clean and healthy.
Pristine and Spotless Menus
If the restaurant’s menu looks old, grimy, or there are flecks of food or sauce on it, chances are high that the staff and management aren’t too concerned about their customers’ health.
According to a study, the average restaurant menu has about 185,000 bacteria on it, and most menus get cleaned just once a day, despite the number of people touching them throughout the restaurant’s operating hours.
Check to see if the menu is clean. If not, wash your hands thoroughly after using it. If the restaurant offers it access their digital menu by scanning their QR code so you won’t have to use their actual menu.
A Clean Bathroom
A clean and orderly bathroom is a sure sign that the restaurant is serious about maintaining a healthy environment for its customers. Basic health guidelines state that restaurant bathrooms need to be cleaned at least twice a day, but a big and busy restaurant bathroom may need to be cleaned more frequently than that.
You’ll know if the bathroom is well-maintained if it doesn’t have an unpleasant smell, the floors are clean and dry, the toilet bowls and sinks are spotless there’s toilet paper and soap in the dispensers, and the bins aren’t overflowing with trash.
Eating good food at a restaurant is one of life’s simple pleasures, so don’t let the fear of getting sick get in your way. By knowing the signs of a clean restaurant, you can have peace of mind while enjoying your favorite dishes.