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Food Poisoning Health Center

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Precautions for Eating in Restaurants

To protect yourself from food-borne illnesses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends taking the following precautions while dining out.

Be choosy when selecting restaurants.

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  • Note the general cleanliness of the facility and staff. If you aren't confident that conditions are sanitary, leave.
  • Restaurants are inspected by the local health department for cleanliness and proper kitchen procedures. Find out the inspection scores of selected restaurants (they are sometimes posted in the restaurant).
  • Find out whether food safety training is regularly provided for staff.

Give specific directions and ask questions. Do everything you can to ensure your food is prepared properly.

  • Make sure meat is cooked at the proper temperature. For example, when ordering a hamburger, ask for it to be cooked to a temperature of 160°F (71°C), and send it back if it is still pink in the middle.
  • Order eggs cooked so the yolk is firm. When you order an item that combines eggs, such as omelets, request pasteurized eggs. Choose a different menu item if pasteurized eggs are not available.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last Revised February 8, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 08, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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