Dirty Secrets Restaurants Don't Want You to Know

When you're dining out, you shouldn't have to worry about putting your health at risk. But certain restaurant violations 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.

Secret: You might be eating rotten meat.

Scary, but true! An old trick is to keep steak that's past its prime and wait until somebody orders it well-done. The more you cook the meat, the more you disguise its flavor – so restaurants are able to serve you food that’s really past its prime. Be extra wary if it’s covered in some kind of sauce. That’s a red flag that it might not be fresh meat. The same holds true for fish. Another 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: Always order your steak medium! That way they have to use fresher cuts of meat. Stay away from fish that’s been incorporated into soups and stews. Especially look out for the soup of the day if it contains fish. Ask for veal to be grilled and never breaded. It’s healthier and you can more easily assess the quality of the meat.

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