Shocking Restaurant Secrets

When you're dining out, you shouldn't have to worry about putting your health at risk. But certain restaurants and food choices could be doing just that. Learn the secrets restaurants keep that could be making you sick – and the small changes you can make to protect yourself.

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Secret: The daily special is often a bad choice.

Restaurateurs know that many diners will order a special, and consequently raise the price. Sadly, the daily special may not actually be special; instead, they are usually made of the food the chef needs to get rid of fast. This includes aging meat and fish, old veggies and leftover sauces – all of which could cause a nasty case of food poisoning.

Solution: If the day’s special appeals to you, don’t be shy about asking the waiter questions about the ingredients.

Secret: Veal is often actually pork.

Veal is expensive meat; often, restaurants will swap it out for pork. Once the meat is pounded and slathered in breadcrumbs and sauce, only a discerning diner can tell the difference.
Solution: Ask for veal to be grilled and never breaded. It’s healthier and you can more easily assess the quality of the meat.

Secret: All-you-can-eat deals contain low-quality foods.

When it comes to food, you get what you pay for. Anything that’s all-you-can-eat is usually either low quality or food made from starch or heavy in fat.

Solution: If you want to get an all-you-can-eat option while dining out, order pasta, grains or veggies; avoid any meat.

Secret: Decaffeinated coffee masks as caffeinated coffee.

If you order coffee past 8 p.m., it’s most likely decaf. Restaurants don’t want to wash two pots so they often use one and fill it with decaf. It saves them time and money to serve only one option.

Solution: If you need caffeine, order an espresso or cappuccino. Because these options are made when you order them, there is a better chance they are caffeinated.