The health risks of eating at restaurants

The risks of eating in a restaurant depend on the restaurant and its location. Health risks associated with restaurants range from environmental risks due to poor sanitation to actual illnesses like food poisening due to contamination. These risks are higher in restaurants as opposed to in your home because the risk of thawing food and spoilage are much higher and more people are handling the food.

One issue when dining out can be whether or not the restaurant is smoke free. Secondhand smoke is just as harmful to you health as smoking the ciggerate yourself. Over fifty percent of americans are covered by statewide smoking bans but some states sre still fighting to pass the bill. The problem with the restaurants that aren’t smoke free is that their smoking sections are not adequate and generally are only devided by small areas of glass or diveders.

A bigger health issue in restaurants lately has been food poisening. We’ve all heard of salmonella,e-coli, hepitatis A and most recentlt mad cow desease. The food becomes contaminated from poor sanitation or preperation causing these food born illnesses. Foods stored improprely and at the wrong temperature can also promote contamination.

Another health concern is the actual food that we are eating and whether or not it is healthy. Artificial trans fat oils are used in restaurants at least until recently. These trans fat oils promote heart attacks and are actually liked to early deaths. Alot of restaurants are using soybean oil or fat free oils which are much healthier for our bodies.

In todays society, eating out has become a way of life. Both parents work, kids have soccer or dance and there is no time to be at home in the kitchen making dinner. We go out to eat because its convienent and practical. So how do you chose a restaurant knowing the health risks involved?

First, find out if the restaurant is smoke free.

Second, Inquire about the restaurants score from the Department of Health (usually posted at the establishment).

Once you’ve found a good restaurant, find out what kind of oil they use and ask for a nutritional guide for their menu. Some restaurants have them out but all restaurants have to have them, so if you can’t see them, ask.

To avoid food poisening, when ordering a burger make sure its cooked to 160 degrees and make sure they are using pasterized eggs when ordering eggs or omlets.

I enjoy eating out, as does most of america. Eating out does not have to be a risk. Just take precautions when choosing a restaurant.