Diet & Nutrition
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How Clean is Your Restaurant?

Everyone likes to eat out -- but some restaurants can be breeding places for germs. Find out more with this quiz.

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How Clean is Your Restaurant?
How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 1 of 20 Correct

What's the quickest test to see if a restaurant is clean?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Former health inspector Peter Delucia says the quickest test to see if a restaurant is clean is to visit the restroom and make sure it's stocked with paper towels and soap. The staff use the same restrooms as the customers do -- so if you don't have access to soap and towels, the staff doesn't, either. And that means they aren't washing their hands properly after a trip to the toilet.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 2 of 20 Correct

You decide you want to take the family out for dinner, but you don't want to spend a lot of money. Should you pick an all-you-can-eat restaurant?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: When it comes to all-you-can-eat, you get what you pay for. Such deals often are made up of low-quality or unhealthy foods that are heavy in fat or starches. The worst part? You're more likely to overeat by giving yourself bigger portion sizes.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 3 of 20 Correct

The restaurant has a buffet of all your favorite foods. What do you do?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Definitely skip the buffet. Buffets are breeding grounds for bacteria. One of the danger of buffets is that the food sits out at inconsistent temperatures; the food on the bottom get burned, while the food on top is too cold. If you really want to eat at a buffet, go when it first opens to ensure the foods are fresh.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 4 of 20 Correct

What should you avoid if you do go to an all-you-can-eat place?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Avoid anything with meat -- it may be poor quality. Stick with pasta, grains or veggies instead.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 5 of 20 Correct

It's a good idea to avoid a restaurant that plays . . .

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Top Chef Richard Blais says restaurants with loud music tend to up your energy, which makes you eat faster and order more -- which leads to overeating. Don't let the music fool you -- remember that it takes your brain 20 minutes to register that you're full, so go slow and enjoy your meal.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 6 of 20 Correct

You get to a restaurant an hour before closing time. What should you do?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Go somewhere else. According to former health inspector Peter Delucia, you're more likely to get a compromised meal if you arrive within an hour of closing time. Most ingredients will have been prepped hours before, giving bacteria plenty of time to multiply. Plus, the kitchen may be a mess, putting your food at risk for cross-contamination. Most likely, the crew will be in cleanup mode, so your dish could also come in contact with cleaning spray.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 7 of 20 Correct

The waiter comes by with the water pitcher to fill everyone's glass. What should you do?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Watch out for what Delucia calls the "touchdown." That's when the waiter comes around to refill your water and the pitcher actually touches your glass. If he's touching all the other glasses with the same pitcher, think about all the germs you're about to drink!

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 8 of 20 Correct

How often do restaurants wash the water pitcher?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: According to former health inspector Peter Delucia, water pitchers usually get washed once, overnight. That means during the day, they just get recycled and used over and over again—coming into contact with common bacteria during each use. The pitchers may have fresh water, but that doesn't mean they're clean.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 9 of 20 Correct

Which of the following is one of the dirtiest things a restaurant serves?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Restaurant lemon slices are often as dirty as the floor. In an independent test of five different restaurants, Dr. Oz found that five out of five lemons were coated with germs including mold, bacteria, staph and Candida yeast, the type found in the mouth and vagina. One study even found bacteria inside the lemons, presumably from contamination when the lemon was cut, or afterward. If you really need that lemon, order it on the side and squeeze it into your drink or onto your plate yourself. Make sure that the juice doesn’t touch the germy lemon rind.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 10 of 20 Correct

You're reading the menu trying to decide what to order. Where will you find the high-markup items?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Chef Richard Blais says restaurants usually list high-markup items at the upper right of the menu, where the eyes are naturally drawn.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 11 of 20 Correct

The waiter reads tonight's special and it sounds delicious! What should you do?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: People fall for this all the time, but Blais says specials are never worth it. What you're getting is food the chef needs to get rid of. The chef may have ordered too much of one food or they need to move it fast.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 12 of 20 Correct

What is the worst day of the week to order the "special?"

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Avoid the "special" on Sundays. Restaurants rarely get food deliveries on the weekend, so anything served on Sunday night has probably been in the cooler for a few days. That means it's even less fresh!

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 13 of 20 Correct

If you're served meat with a sauce on it, what could that indicate?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: According to Blais, when meat is covered in some sort of sauce that's a red flag that it might not be fresh because the sauce helps to mask the flavor.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 14 of 20 Correct

How should you order your steak to ensure that it's the freshest meat?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Always order your steak medium. An old trick is for restaurants to keep steak that's past its prime and wait until someone orders it well-done, so the cooking will mask the meat's age. If you order your steak rare, you may run the risk of contamination.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 15 of 20 Correct

What hidden ingredient do restaurants add to food to make it look more appealing?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Restaurants often add sugar to your food. That's why many dishes look shiny.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 16 of 20 Correct

Which of these restaurant dishes has hidden sugar?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. Veggies are often cooked in a "glaze" of butter and sugar. Steak is usually prepared with a spice mixture that includes sugar. Most restaurants also add sugar to pasta dishes to help cut the bitterness of tomato sauce. Ask for your veggies steamed and for your meat to be prepared without spices.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 17 of 20 Correct

Why should you beware of ordering veal at a restaurant?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Veal is expensive meat and restaurants will often swap it out for pork. Once the meat is pounded and slathered in breadcrumbs and sauce, only a discerning diner can tell the difference. Ask for veal to be grilled and never breaded. It's healthier and you can more easily check the quality of the meat.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 18 of 20 Correct

You get your food, but it's not what you ordered. You send it back and yell at the waiter for making a mistake. Should you be concerned?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: According to Delucia, you may have good reason for worry; waiters have been known to spit in the food when they're mad. Remember that the wait staff is there to serve your food, but they aren't servants. If you want to be rude, don't be surprised if you get a little something extra in that main course!

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 19 of 20 Correct

You order your meal from a fast food restaurant and they serve it to you on the tray. What should you do?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Ask for your food in a takeout bag. Serving trays are rarely cleaned, and if they are actually wiped down, it's usually with the same dirty cloth used to wipe off all the other dirty trays. That spreads germs around. If you have to use a tray use anti-bacterial wipes to clean it off before you eat off it.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
Question 20 of 20 Correct

You've finished your meal, but you have leftovers. What should you do?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Always ask for the to-go container and pack your leftovers yourself. When you give your half-finished dinner to your server to have boxed, your plate could be left in the kitchen next to dirty dishes and garbage -- and you'll have no idea how your leftovers will be transferred.

How Clean is Your Restaurant?
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How Clean is Your Restaurant?
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How Clean is Your Restaurant?
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