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One Major Red Flag You Shouldn't Eat at a Restaurant, Says Health Inspector

Do this one thing to feel at ease before you dine out amid the pandemic.
Waiter wearing protective face mask while disinfecting tables at outdoor cafe

Going out to dinner has never been more precious of an experience than right now. As many restaurants reopen across the country, nearly every foodie—or simply those who are tired of cooking—is eager to dine out again. Still, the spread of COVID-19 has brought about serious concerns about public health safety, particularly in light of a recent surge in cases in many southern and western states that have actually reclosed bars and restaurants.

So, what can you do to ensure that dining out at a restaurant won't be a risky move?

A former health inspector offers this solid advice: Look up past health inspections online before you visit your restaurant of choice. If the restaurant has a sketchy past? Well then, that's a red flag, and perhaps you'd be better off finding a more consistently high-rated option.

Former Florida health inspector Danielle Egger recently sat for an interview with Tampa Bay local news outlet WFTS, and advised any future diners to look up past inspections to see how restaurants performed before the pandemic hit. FYI: A simple Google search should reveal a state-specific searchable database of past inspections.

"If the restaurant has had concerns about sanitation in the past before COVID started, it might be a good idea to consider going elsewhere. And if sanitation issues, handwashing, and cleanliness were an issue before this ever started, chances are they're struggling to get up to compliance now," Egger explained. (Related: These Two States May Delay Indoor Dining Indefinitely.)

The logic is pretty clear: If an eating establishment has done a good job keeping their kitchen and dining rooms up to code in the past, then it stands to reason that they would also be just as fastidious in following the strict CDC guidelines for reopening restaurants.

Absence definitely makes the heart go fonder, especially when it comes to dining out. But before you rush back to check out a local restaurant, you might want to see how clean they've been in the past. It will likely make your meal even more enjoyable. For more, check out these 5 signs a restaurant is violating coronavirus restrictions.

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