If someone asked you to describe a classy restaurant, you’d probably have a fairly definite image in your head.

Chances areit’ssituated somewhere in Paris, in a room swathed with regal red wallpaper. The tables – all bedecked with white cloths, silver candlestick holders and a vase of roses in their centre – sit below a shimmering chandelier, while moustachioed waiters with slicked back hairattend your beck and call.

But if you look beneath the surface of even the most impressive restaurants, you might find dirt and grime lurking underneath.

Indeed, you simply need to Google “restaurant hygiene” to see the countless number of eateries given zero hygiene ratings every day.

So, before you tuck into your starter snails in that Parisian palace of the palette, what hygiene risks should you watch out for?

Related : The Top 10 healthy eating habits

1

A pristine kitchen : It’s easy for that luxurious restaurant you’re in to present a comfortable façade, only to be kicking rats out of their path and spitting in your food the moment they enter the kitchen.

pristine kitchen in restaurant

The only real way to know that they’re not is to do some sleuthing before your visit. Check that the restaurant you’re visiting regularly hires industrial kitchen cleaners who’ll undertake floor, appliance and grease trap cleaning to ensure a spick and span operation.

Tantalising as their menu might seem, it’ll be tantamount to swill if it’s filledwith bacteria. So, give their hygiene a thorough scan – whether that’s online or on the premises – to put your mind at ease.


2

The right kind of staff : Those subservient servants pouring wine for you at your table might seem wonderful on the surface, but beneath their bristling moustaches and thick foreign accents, what hygiene secrets are they hiding?

hand-washing-photo

A waiter or chef not washing their hands regularly (especially after handling raw meat) could be spreading thousands of bacteria, swarming over your food, into your mouth, down your oesophagus and into your stomach, where it’ll unleash itself like a bacterial time bomb.

No one wants food poisoning with their main course, so keep a close eye on your waiter’s hygiene habits.


3

The little things : As sentimental fools like to claim, it’s the little things that count – and in a restaurant, that isn’t just a tacky throwaway phrase.

If a fork, for instance, used by hundreds of people before you, isn’t cleaned properly, you’re running the risk of consuming the germs of anyone before you.

spoon-fork in a restaurant

The fix to this is simple. All you have to do is thoroughly inspect your cutlery, plates, glasses and table, spotting any stains or dried-in foodstuffs. While it’s not a foolproof plan (germs are too microscopic for the human eye to spot), it is a suitable safeguard.

That way, as you dine under that wonderful chandelier, you’ll know that you can eat and enjoy your meal – without worrying about a stomach bug later.