When looking for a good restaurant that is clean and healthy, there are no clear parameters to do so. There is no national grading system available for restaurants. It is the city’s health department that sets the criteria in order to determine the health score for restaurants. For instance, Louisville and San Francisco provide numerical scores for restaurants with the best grade being 100.
In New York, letter grades are used to grade restaurants. These inspections consider things that the customer cannot see. These include; potential contamination or cross-contamination, refrigerator temperatures, and employee sanitation practices. However, it is necessary that you get your personal judgment.
1. You need your own personal evaluation strategies in order to judge if a restaurant is healthy. You can begin by sizing up the person who serves you the hygiene of the waiters or food runners should be spotless as it is them who serve you.
Check to see if there are any signs of dirt under their fingernails and or loose strands in their hair. In the event that they display a lack of hygiene, there is a good chance those cooking in the back are not clean either.
2. Check and find out if the waiter who serves you has any signs of sickness. In case they are coughing or sneezing, it means that you are likely to be infected by the food they serve you Additionally, the manager of the restaurant should be in plain sight ensuring that all is going well.
The manager should attend to the clients’ particular need and ask them about their experience after they are through with their meal. Customer service should be a priority for healthy restaurants.
3. Check the bathrooms to see how clean it is and how well it stocked with required sanitary items. Waiters normally use the same restrooms as the customers do. Therefore, they should endeavor to make them clean for the client too.
If there are no paper towels, soap, hand air dryers or hot water, it means that those who are cooking and serving you are not clean after using the restroom. It is a clear sign for you to walk out of the restaurant immediately.
4. It is important to feel your food for temperature. Unless the menu specifically states that the food is served at room temperature, then food that is not adequately heated is a red flag. It means that it took too long for the food to get from the area where it was served to when it got to you
5. Check the array of menu choices offered. A good menu should have healthy substitutions for what you may not consider healthy. For instance, you may ask for baked potatoes as opposed to fried potatoes or salad instead of coleslaw.
6. Cooking method is also a key pointer of a healthy restaurant. The menu description can tell you how a certain food is cooked implicitly. For instance, crispy means it is deep fried, and you can expect high calories from such food.
Doused smothered or basted should also be avoided as it means they have high calories. Roasted, broiled, baked or steamed means these are healthier alternatives. Choose restaurants that cook food using this method in order to stay healthy.
7. Check for information on a restaurant in a website. Find out more about the restaurant before you go there. You can read reviews in order to see other clients’ experiences at the restaurant. Additionally, pictures that the restaurant places in the website should match the actual place when you get there.
If you find that the images of food, furniture, workers and other areas in the website do not match the actual place, then you are guaranteed they do not have much to offer in terms of healthy food either.