Recently a question was posed to chefs on Reddit asking what are some red flags to look out for at a restaurant and the topic quickly went viral.
One of the biggest red flags that a chef mentioned was that if the restaurant has a really big menu the food is most likely frozen. Another red flag was if you walk into a seafood restaurant and it smells like fish... LEAVE! The reasoning behind this one is that fresh fish has a more underlying smell when it's cooked, as fish gets older and less fresh it starts to smell more fishy.
I knew that other sources would have more to say so I researched it a little and FoodNetwork had another article on this topic. One of the first red flags that FoodNetwork mentioned (which should go without say) is if your server is sick. This is one of the easiest ways to spread illness is to have your food prepared to served by someone who is sick. Ew.
They also mentioned that if you are served food that is lukewarm don't eat it. Your food should come out piping hot and if it doesn't send it back! If it comes out warm that typically means it either has been sitting out or wasn't heated well enough which can cause bacteria the opportunity to grow... that's gross. FoodNetwork added that if a restaurant's bathroom is dirty that's a red flag. Mainly because if they have a dirty bathroom that means that they are keeping up with their cleaning schedules. I honestly didn't even think about this but it's true because if the sinks are wet and dirty or there's no paper towels/working hand dryer how do I know the people handling my food have clean hands?!
They also mentioned that it's a big red flag when the utensils are dirty. Bacteria are transferred onto forks, spoons and knives every time they touch your lips. Bacteria are transferred onto forks, spoons and knives every time they touch your lips. It's the restaurants job to make sure the utensils are properly cleaned and sanitized.
I'm sure that there are plenty of other red flags but make sure you look out for yourself and your health when you go out to eat!