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9 Secrets Restaurants Never Want You to Know! by Jessica Boscarini

by Jessica Boscarini, posted to Food & Drink

Did you know that a good majority of restaurants aren’t nearly as careful and health-oriented as would be expected? In fact, if you truly knew the amount of germs and bugs that were floating around in a typical restaurant’s kitchen, you would probably never eat out again! While we can’t preve... More »

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Ordering Water with Lemon

I’ve personally always been a fan of ordering water with lemon in it. That is until I heard the statistics on how many lemons are contaminated with bacteria and yes, even feces, and then cut and put into our water glasses without ever being rinsed. Restaurants don’t wash lemons – so be sure to ask for them on the side and squeeze them into the water yourself.

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Ordering the Special of the Day

Do you think the restaurant really cares about saving you money by offering you deals that are almost too good to be true? Hardly. The daily “Special” is more often than not just the kitchen staff trying to get rid of items they had too much of. Sorry to burst your bubble…

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Not Emphasizing Your Food Allergies

Most people don’t like to make a big deal of their food allergies....more

Furthermore, the allergenic food may not actually be in the food itself, but your meal may be prepared on the same cutting board, or the same utensils may be used, as when dealing with the food you are allergic to. So be explicit when speaking with your waiter about your allergy so they can pass it on to the kitchen staff. If you are, they are usually very good about it.

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Dietary Restrictions

Similar to the tip above, just because an ingredient is not listed in the description, does not mean it isn’t used in the preparation. Plus, it may still be in the condiments – so specify if you are avoiding a particular ingredient for whatever reason. Better yet, just tell your waiter that you are allergic so you don’t have to overly explain yourself.

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All You Can Eat

Eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet may seem like it is a great deal,...more

Restaurants aren’t going to serve food that they would lose money on. Plus, the sanitation for these types of establishments, with the food sitting out in the open and not being thoroughly covered, warmed, etc. is anything but a smart option.

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The Last Table of the Night

We all know that the restaurant staff is not particularly thrilled...more

By the end of the night, the kitchen is already in clean-up mode, so the dishes you order are more likely to be haphazardly thrown together than carefully prepared. Furthermore, they are using ingredients that were prepped hours before, and cooking them in ovens or fryers that contain the accumulated buildup of the entire night’s service. Even worse, chefs will often cook and clean at the same time, increasing the likelihood of your meal being sprayed with all-purpose cleaner or having bleach particles en

Eden Godsoe: My husband & I are often the last table there. This is making re-think our strategy. I don't need all-purpose cleaner on my steak or salmon.

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Ordering Fish

If not ordering a vegan entrée, I will usually order fish when I go...more

Little did I know that the snapper listed on the menu might just as well be a cheaper fish like tilapia. In fact, this happens approximately 20-25% of the time, with rates in some species of fish being as high as 70%. However, it’s not always the restaurant’s fault; seafood distributors do most of the mislabeling. Restaurants will often sell endangered or threatened species though, including Bluefin tuna or Chilean sea bass, and put other names on it, like “toro”, to misdirect consumers. Unless you

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Food Handling

Unfortunately the kitchen can be a very gross place. Restaurants are...more

To spell it out: chefs handle food with their bare hands, bartenders touch your garnish after wiping down the bar, and servers touch menus and utensils used by other patrons without washing their hands in between tables. The best way to gauge a restaurant’s cleanliness is by looking in the bathroom and around the dining room. If the bathroom trash is more than half full, the ketchup bottles have crusted nozzles, or the floor looks like it is rarely swept, chances are that the kitchen is even worse. Restau

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Boxing Your Leftovers

We’ve always been taught to box up our meals and take home the...more

When an entrée is boxed up to-go (or even sent back to the kitchen to be cooked further), the staff is known to cut corners. If something falls on the ground for example, they will often go ahead and put it back on the plate. Or they may use someone else’s dirty silverware to push your food into the box. If you aren’t going to finish your meal, ask the server to bring out the box so you can do it yourself. And if your order is wrong and you need to send it back, well, just try not to think about it.

Jennifer Schick: This is the worst of them all here... I have worked in restaurants for years, and while the clean factor definitely varies place to place, I have never seen, nor know anyone to pick up dropped food from the floor. Also, typically if you are sending your plate back with your utensils, the servers are using YOUR utensils to push the food into the box, not some random customers. Or we use a clean spoon, etc.

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