Eating out all the time? Is your salad safe to eat?
The answer may shock you. You don’t know! Why do you think many people are getting sick or die every year from food poisoning? Food manufacturers are not telling us the whole truth. Many restaurants are not following good hygiene and sanitary guidelines.
Every year, nearly thousands if not millions of people get sick from food contamination. Some of these contaminations vary from non-severe, life-threatening and death. Food contamination does not only include food spoilage, it also includes vegetables that have not been properly washed.
In 2016, I took my ServSafe Food Certification because I wanted to be more proficient and better educated while running my business. I still remember how excited I was to learn all the food safety requirements. Every time I eat out I wear my Food Police hat. LOL…
I actually don’t have a Food Police hat, but I wish I did!
I remember walking in the cafeteria at one of my corporate jobs and seeing the cafeteria lady preparing ingredients for the salad bar. Although she wore gloves, I almost had a heart attack when she stopped and used the cash register with the gloves on. What made it worst, she never washed the lettuce after slicing the leaves. From that day, I never ate in the cafeteria again.
Leafy vegetables must be thoroughly washed at all time. No exception to the rule! I usually wash my vegetables in a vinegar and water bath first and then rinse them under running water.
How to perform the test
Performing the test is simple. You only have to check every single leaf. I know you may say why or it is crazy to check every leaf, so what about shaking? Running water will remove most debris, but a touch test is more accurate. What do I mean by a touch test? A touch test is to check every leaf if possible.
Don’t be afraid to do this!
Creating a vinegar and water bath is also a great way to clean your lettuce. The vinegar not only kills most bacteria but the bath will help remove the dirt. The best way to use this procedure is with the help of a salad spinner. Most salad spinners are affordable and can easily be found in most home stores.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration even recommends washing produce thoroughly. Cleaning your produce with vinegar helps kill bacteria to ensure your vegetables are safe for consumption.
Don’t be afraid to peek at your salad before eating when you are out dining. When salads are served on a huge plate covered with dressing it may be hard to see what you are eating. The lighting may be off as well and there are so many other variables. Take your time between each bite to inspect. Even 5 stars hotels sometimes make faux pas. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Restaurants are servings hundreds of people at the same time. Mistakes will happen; it is a reality. As far as your home, it is simple! Follow “the test” and use water and vinegar to wash your veggies. If you are at a friend’s or relative’s home it is okay to peek in a manner that is not disrespectful and not to offend your host.
Remember, practice safety first.
If I look at my salad in a restaurant, what should I be looking for? Dirt? Obviously bacteria isn’t visible….. This is something I do think about when I eat out.