It was no big surprise when the neighborhood Waffle House was recently closed due to health code violations. I do have to admit that knowing that the restaurant only scored 59 on the health inspectors visit did make my stomach turn. I had eaten at the restaurant in the past but had recently decided the quality of food and overall restaurant condition was not worth the risk.
With increased coverage on the news relating to food recalls and bacterial outbreak concerns, it is extremely important to take charge of your food purchases. I am a fan of food. I’ll be the first one in line to munch on a gas station hotdog or a secluded table at a fine establishment.
Since I do love to dine out a lot, I have developed a system to help me weed out the bad apples and avoid getting unnecessarily ill. The following are a few questions to ask yourself whenever you are choosing a restaurant. Whether the food choice is dine in or take out, it is important to do your own quick yet thorough evaluation.
How clean are the tables and floors? There is no reason to have to sift through trash in order to find the take out line. It is very simple to wipe down a table between client visits or sweep the floor when trash is present. While you should keep in mind the heavy flow of customer traffic during certain portions of the day, never settle for a delicious plate of food served in a filthy environment. You are a guest of the restaurant and deserve the best possible dining experience.
Is the temperature of the food correct? Foods need to be prepared, stored, and served at the appropriate temperatures. Not only is warm ice cream unpleasant to eat, it can cause you severe digestive issues! Make sure that everything you order is served properly to prevent further complications.
How clean are the employees? The restaurant staff should take pride in their appearance. While the use of hair nets is often standard practice, beware of extreme violations to this rule. No one likes to find hair and other unknown particles floating in their food or drink. Employees are also required to wash their hands after visiting the restroom. You have the right to have your food delivered by pleasant and well kempt server.
What is the restaurant’s health score? Restaurants are required to post their health score in plain view of the public. Restaurants are inspected periodically to ensure they are operating up to standard. Always look for this code before you place your order. If you are unsatisfied with the score do not order. While it is true that minor violations can lower a score, never give the restaurant he benefit of the doubt. It is your health that is ultimately at stake.