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2-min read

World Food Safety Day 2019: Tips to Follow Before Eating Out

Here are a few tips to ensure your eating-out experience does not leave you unwell.

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Updated:June 7, 2019, 1:52 PM IST
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World Food Safety Day 2019: Tips to Follow Before Eating Out
(Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Singapore Airlines)

The world is geared up to celebrate the first-ever World Food Safety Day on June 7. First adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018 and according to WHO, pursues efforts to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally. The very first theme for World Food Safety Day is "Food Safety, everyone's business."

The World Food Safety Day comes close in the heels of a news report that went viral, showcasing a street food vendor from Mumbai who was seen using tap water from Borivali Railway Station toilet to prepare food. Following which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation and subsequently issued a public warning against using such water, which could be contaminated.

According to WHO one of the keys towards sustaining life and promoting good health is to have "sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food." They further added that foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade. WHO data points out that almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food and food safety is an increasing threat to human health.

While biting into a crispy samosa or piping hot fried pakoras from a road side vendor might look extremely appealing, it might not always be a safe eating option.

Here are a few tips to ensure your eating-out experience does not leave you unwell.

Opt for a restaurant that attracts a crowd: Go where the locals are. If there’s a long line with local’s chowing down on what the restaurant is serving then obviously they are good and serve fresh food.

Observe vendor before ordering: Check if their hygiene standards are up to date. Are they using dirty cutlery or using dirty knives? Notice if they make use of gloves, tongs, etc. Furthermore, do they keep their food covered? If you see anything that piques your suspicion, or if the server has bad habits like scratching or nose-picking, then avoid that place.

Avoid eateries in unhygienic places: Observe the place where the vendor is. If it is in near vicinity of a garbage dump, or an open drain, avoid them. These places are breeding ground for diseases and increases chances of germs contaminating the food.

Wash your hands: Always! Washing your hand before eating is important anywhere! It stops the spread of chances of diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning, or even hepatitis A.

Always drink bottled water when outside: Whatever you may eat, try drinking bottled water. While locals may be okay with drinking tap water from a particular place, your digestive system may not be suited to it. Buy a bottle of water that is sealed.

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