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How to choose the right summer cafe and not get poisoned: a checklist from a nutritionist

 The time has come for barbecues, gatherings with friends in summer cafes and attics. But, irresponsible owners of establishments are not always ready to feed their guests with healthy and high-quality food. How to choose the right cafe so as not to get poisoned - says dietitian Natalya Nefyodova.

Catering establishments differ among themselves in the level of prices and service, and most importantly in their attitude to cooking for their visitors. Restaurants, cafes, bistros and coffee houses are not a complete list of possible establishment formats.
The habit of thinking that an elite institution can be found by the name "restaurant" has long lost its strength, especially in the presence of such fast food restaurants as McDonald's, CFC, Burger King. However, in these establishments they are very responsible for cleanliness and compliance with sanitary and epidemiological standards, which cannot be said for sure about summer cafes that open in a large number with the onset of heat.

Summer passes quickly, and the owners of summer cafes are eager to make their profit faster and close before the next hot days. That is why they are trying to save on equipment, products, and labor, which can play against the health of visitors not in their favor.

The opening season of summer cafes is associated with a large number of food poisonings (read the article " First Aid for Food Poisoning " on the website) eaten in the fresh air. Natalya Nefyodova, a dietitian from the Canadian Mcgill University, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, told us how to protect ourselves and evaluate a summer cafe in a few minutes so that we can relax without consequences.  

Natalia compiled tips in the form of a checklist point by point, so that when you enter a new establishment, you can mentally go through the list and understand whether you should linger in this summer cafe.

Checklist for evaluating a summer cafe:

1. The presence and condition of the toilet, washbasin, the presence of soap.
If it is not possible to wash your hands, this is a direct path to intestinal disorders, at least.

2. The presence of refrigerators for food.
If there is no refrigerator in the establishment, you can immediately turn around and leave, because At a temperature of 25 degrees, even prepared food spoils instantly (patties, shawarma, shish kebabs

the conditions of the hall and the kitchen could not be
checked.Secondly, the activity is carried out illegally, which means there may be serious problems with the quality of food, and there will be no one to complain.

4. Cleanliness in the institution.  
Soiled tables, how crumbs are removed, whether the tablecloth is spread or the table is wiped (antiseptics are needed), neat waiters (in clean clothes with clean hair, clean nails and skin). Maintaining overall cleanliness is a good sign that standards are being followed in the kitchen.”

On a note! Often in catering establishments we are faced with the fact that we are served a dirty and sticky menu, but as a rule, no one even remarks to the waiter, because. everyone understands that they are dealing with food here and the previous client could have simply messed up the menu. Don't take it easy on such things, if the staff of the establishment consider it normal to serve a dirty menu to the client, then it is likely that the food you will eat is the same irresponsible attitude.

“ 5. Presence of insects, animals.
If there are insects or animals in the establishment - think about it! They are carriers of many diseases and it is immediately clear that the standards are not met.

6. Please note that on the tables of the guests.
Before placing an order, look at what other visitors have on their plates. If the order has already been placed, study what is on your plate, how the food looks, whether the greens and salad look fresh (vegetables are the easiest way to understand if fresh food was brought to you or it is spoiled). See if sauces, mayonnaises and spices are used in large quantities - the harsh taste of spices and sauces often overwhelm the taste of stale foods.

If the food has an unusual taste and color, a strange texture, then it is better to stop eating it.

7. The opportunity to look into the kitchen or look at the barbecue.
If there is an open barbecue or kitchen, it will be easier to make sure that it is safe, first of all we look at:

- where food is stored, is there a refrigerator;

- how food is prepared, is the working area clean;

- how the cook takes food, how he wipes his hands, how he washes them, whether he uses gloves;

- what kind of water is used for washing food and cooking, because in the absence of running water, it is better if it is bottled branded in jars of 19 liters.

Try to follow the tips listed above and you will reduce the chances of getting poisoned while relaxing in a summer cafe to zero.

But, do not forget to evaluate before you start drinking alcoholic beverages. When drinking alcohol, the sense of smell is dulled, attention is scattered, and the mood allows you to “close your eyes” to many negative factors.

In addition, employees of many establishments, paying attention to the fact that visitors abuse alcohol, deliberately slip low-quality food, knowing that the client will not notice anything and will attribute any consequences in the morning to a hangover. Perhaps reading the article - how to restore health and beauty after a feast , will help if such a situation has not bypassed you. Do not let your health be neglected and take a responsible approach to the question - which cafe to choose. - See more at: