Food Safety: How to Avoid Getting Food Poisoning at Houston Restaurants
Trust us, here at Angels Medical we know that eating isn’t always about eating smart. We also know that eating smart is not always about diets, calorie counting, fruits and veggies, or mercury levels. As a matter of fact, when you’re out on the town we pretty much all accept that the goal isn’t to eat “healthy” but to eat SAFELY.
Previously, we posted an article called, “Food Safety: How to Feed Your Family Safely for the Holidays” discussing best practices for food safety in your own home, but the question was raised, what if you’re not controlling the kitchen making the food? How can you protect yourself from food poisoning and the like then? The answer is pretty simple, make sure to ask the right questions! Here are some points to think about before chomping down on the delicious eats Houston has to offer:
How to Know if a Restaurant is Clean?
- Check if the carpet is vacuumed, lamps dusted, or tables wiped down and cleared before seating.
- Have the dishes and utensils been washed?
- What is the bug situation? It’s not just the lack of crawling insects, but flies, mosquitos or gnats? Are sanitary elements in place to protect against infestation?
- Are the restrooms clean and stocked? Are garbage cans covered and not overflowing?
- More important and often ignored but Is there a health inspection certificate on display? Because there should be, always.
How to Know if Your Food is Safe?
- Is the food Cooked? We aren’t saying, “the only safe food is charred food”, but is the food cooked to a safe temperature and served at a safe temperature? And not just meats and seafood. Unpasteurized eggs and milk can carry equally dangerous pathogens that might make the food unsafe.
- What Should I do With Bad Food? Never worry about being impolite. If there are any concerns with the food, inform the waiter of the issue and have them take it back.
- What About Food Allergies? If food allergies are a worry, or there are other dietary restrictions, make sure to talk to the server to see what substitutes are available and make them aware in case any situation arises. They can gather ingredient information and can inform the kitchen staff if there is a need to prevent cross-contamination with the possible allergens.
Are restaurant left-overs safe?
Taking Leftovers Home? From the time the food arrives to the table, take-home leftovers should be refrigerated within 2 hours, or less if the weather is hot like it is in Houston, before the food is safer to throw away then to eat. And remember when reheating your leftovers you want to get the temp back up to 165 before you eat.
If something does go wrong after your night out on the town and you are worried you have food poisoning don’t stress out too much, you’ll feel worse than it is. However, if you have questions about what to do in that situation check out our article, “What is Food Poisoning? Facts and Treatments of Foodborne Illnesses”.