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Ordering out: top food safety tips

July 5, 2016

Did you know more Australians are choosing to eat out over making a home cooked meal?

According to research by Ipsos, they have found Australians are dining-out and ordering take away food like never before. On average once a week or 4.6 times per month.

This ‘eating out more’ trend is also expected to become the new norm for Australians after data in the US revealed sales at restaurants, bars and take away shops overtook spending at grocery stores for the first time in March 2015.

So, as our taste buds grow to enjoy dining-out and ordering-in like the US, the chances of suffering from food poisoning also increases.

How to avoid being sick

To help you avoid becoming ill from food poisoning, here are our top food safety tips for ordering out:

  • Pay special attention to how your dish is prepared and served – especially high-risk foods including seafood, raw meats, dairy, eggs/egg products and cooked rice and pasta. Don’t be afraid to ask staff how dishes are prepared eg. Is the tuna cooked well or seared?
  • Choose a place with good customer reviews and rating – search online to see the venue’s Google reviews and TripAdvisor feedback.
  • Check for cleanliness – before ordering check how clean the venue is. Does staff wear gloves and use separate utensils? How are the public areas eg. bathrooms, seating area, reception etc.? This will give some clues as to how the kitchen is kept.
  • Test by temperature – food should be served steaming hot (never lukewarm), while cold food should be displayed on ice or in a refrigerated cabinet.
  • Avoid tired looking food – if your meal looks like it has been sitting at room temperature for a long time, avoid at all costs.
  • Be careful with leftovers – if you’re going to take a doggy bag home, be sure to refrigerate the leftovers within one to two hours of it arriving to your table. Also reheat to 165°F (75°C).

For more information and tips on managing your food safety check out our Food Safety Courses.