Friday, July 3, 2009

Do You Know How to Choose a Restaurant that is Safe, Healthy and Hygienic?

By Malcolm J. Richmond

People love to dine out. This should come as no surprise. It is convenient and often fun. Of course, much of the benefit from eating out will be undermined if the venue lacks basic cleanliness and hygiene. However, the average consumer is not always capable of ascertaining the cleanliness of an establishment.

Food safety inspectors therefore play a very important role in insuring that restaurants and other food outlets maintain acceptable standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Ordinary people can learn to recognise signs indicating whether or not a restaurant is clean and safe to eat at. Here are a few points to think about when deciding whether or not to eat at a particular establishment.

An obvious indication that the dining establishment lacks quality is the presence of garbage and waste both inside and outside the premises. Even if the trash has been removed from the kitchen, the presence of garbage just outside is not a good sign. Overflowing garbage bins attract rodents and the growth of bacteria and germs.

Now, if the garbage does not appear to be rotting, that could be a positive sign. Some restaurants are busy and must throw out a great deal of refuse every day. However, when garbage is rotting and emitting a foul odor, this would indicate the garbage has been there quite some time. Such an establishment should definitely be avoided.

Bad smells are like flashing red lights when it comes to dining. However, even if an odour isn't exactly foul, you should pay attention and ask yourself some serious questions. A 'funny' smell should be enough to warn you that food may be spoiling or the establishment isn't being properly cleaned on a regular basis. So, if restaurant food (or even the restaurant itself) smells a bit odd, it would probably be a good idea to avoid it.

There are also a number of signs that would indicate the positive aspects of the restaurant. Any establishment that is constantly busy is a great sign. After all, would a dirty restaurant with poor safety standards consistently draw large crowds? Also, the more people that patronize the restaurant, the more the stock of food items in the establishment will be consumed. Such high turnover reduced the potential for rotting or spoiling food and all the problems that go with it.

You can also get a lot of information about a place by glancing over the interior of the restaurant. Is it neat and tidy? Are health and safety certifications prominently displayed? Health agencies take their inspection and certification role seriously so positive certifications mean that the restaurant is safe, clean and hygienic. You can go ahead and enjoy your meal.

Everyone that wishes to eat out certainly wants to have a good experience doing so. The cleanliness of an establishment plays a significant role in whether or not it is worth visiting. Thankfully, if you understand a few basic tips on how to spot the clean restaurants vs. the less than desirable ones, you can always pick your dining spots quite effectively.

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