Around 66 percent of people would not be willing to revisit a restaurant with poor hygiene, and 75 percent of people would be unwilling to return to a venue that had been implicated in a food poisoning or hygiene incident. Without a doubt, few people would classify these decisions as hasty or radical. Restaurants are (or should be) a home away from home; one in which you can enjoy quality sustenance, a pleasant ambience, and good hygiene and safety. The question remains—does your favorite restaurant, the one you return to time and time again, tick all the safety boxes you need to feel completely confident?

Regular Cleaning Is Vital

When you enter a restaurant, the effect should be that of walking into a newly clean establishment—one in which the floors, seats, and bathrooms are spotless and showing signs of having been recently cleaned. A good restaurant should be cleaned daily, after service. In fact, cleaning should typically occur even during service, with staff working constantly to clean pots, pans, crockery, and cutlery. You can easily test how clean a restaurant is by asking to see the kitchen or casually walking by. The premises should be neat and the floors sparkling. Spices, ingredients, and food preparation utensils should all be neatly stored or located in the food preparation area.

Pest Control

The US is one of the safest countries to dine in because pest control in the food industry is controlled by the FDA. In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act was passed, leading to two major changes: the requirement of preventive plans and actions, and the increase of compliance inspections. Safe restaurants must ensure all outdoor areas (and areas near bins) are completely clear of food scarps and waste. They should regularly clean the front-of-house space with sanitizing chemicals, clean the bar and counter spaces, and keep the back-of-house food completely clean. If you notice things like sticky chairs, a less-than-spotless table, chances are, the back-of-house and bin areas are even dirtier, thus leading to higher chances of pests appearing.

Food Hygiene Regulations

Staff that does not respect strict food hygiene regulations can pass on foodborne illnesses to clients. Signs that a restaurant may be lacking hygiene include servers using the same wet rag to clean various tables and servers who are coughing or sneezing (or otherwise visibly ill). Restaurants should prioritize staff wellness by asking them to stay at home if they are ill.

Is the Restaurant Protected Against Fires?

Most fires happen in the kitchen, and 61 percent of the time, they involve kitchen equipment. There should be fire extinguishers within your reach or close by, in case a fire should quickly jump from the kitchen to the dining area. In current times, any restaurants have open kitchens, which enable clients to view the food preparation process. The downside of this design style is that tables may be too close to sources of fire for comfort.

It isn’t difficult to work out if your favorite dining establishment is up to scratch when it comes to safety. Watch out for cleanliness and tidiness. Check out how staff are treated, paying particular attention to whether they are forced to attend work when they are ill.