Restaurant Secrets Putting Your Health at Risk

When you’re dining out, the last thing on your mind is the safety of your food. But after learning these industry secrets, it might become the first thing you consider. Learn what you can do to ensure that your dining experience is just as safe as it is delicious.

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These shocking confessions from the restaurant industry could change the way you eat out forever.

Secret: You’re More at Risk for Food Poisoning After 8 p.m.

Although it can feel sophisticated to dine out later, the closer you get to closing time, the more likely you are to get a compromised meal because the ingredients were prepped hours before, giving bacteria plenty of time to multiply.

Additionally, the kitchen may not be in ideal condition as your meal is prepared. The fryers have accumulated the build-up of an entire night's service, plus the oil isn't fresh anymore. Instead of making your food crispy, the grease just soaks into your food. Plus, the kitchen is in cleanup mode, so your dish could be being prepared next to a station that's getting cleaned, risking contamination from the spray solution.

Solution: If you're going to dine late, try to order something that's grilled, broiled or boiled. You want to get something that's cooked (as opposed to something served raw, like salad) so there’s a greater chance of killing off any dangerous bacteria.

Secret: Menus Can Be Dirtier Than Toilet Seats

Menus are rarely properly cleaned, and every person who comes through a restaurant touches them. A recent test by The Dr. Oz Show uncovered 7 out of 7 sample menus from restaurants in the New York City area were covered in bacteria, including fecal bacteria like E.coli and pneumonia-causing streptococcus.

Solution: Grip the menu by the top corners instead of holding it by the bottom. Most people hold the menu by the lower half, so you’ll be minimizing your exposure to bacteria.