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Is eating restaurant food more risky than eating at home?

Having a nice meal at a restaurant can be the perfect break from slaving over a hot stove and many people place high priority on the cleanliness and hygiene of a restaurant when choosing where to eat. Whilst it’s fair to say that the health & safety practices of a restaurant are placed under more scrutiny than home cooking, is it in fact more risky to eat restaurant food than it is to eat at home? As a law firm with years of experience in all areas of personal injury compensation, Accident Advice Helpline are experts when it comes to knowing the dangers associated with improper hygiene.

What are the main risks?

The risks associated with eating food that has been improperly cooked or handled are the same in a restaurant are the same as they are at home. Food poisoning, salmonella, foreign objects in the food, the risks are many and can be extremely serious.

Aren’t restaurants subjected to rigorous health & safety inspections?

The answer is yes. Routine inspections are carried out on all premises licensed to serve food and are both rigorous and exhaustive. Checks are carried out to ensure that food has not expired, that food is maintained at the correct temperatures and that employees observe proper hygiene in the workplace. By and large, the majority of premises comply with these regulations however it is not unheard of for a premises to slip through the net and health and safety standards can slip in the wake of a recent inspection as inspections are carried out at intervals and not a daily basis. This can lead to the aforementioned risks such as salmonella.

And these standards aren’t observed at home?

The majority of people who cook at home are hygiene conscious and in the modern age of social media and access to information, the average person is now a lot more informed regarding how to properly handle food. E.g: The recent publication by the Food Standards Agency stated that we should avoid washing raw chicken.

So which is safer?

On the balance of the evidence, whilst it would appear that a restaurant is not entirely free of risk, the extensive testing and the qualifications required by employees in restaurants in order to maintain health and safety and accidents at work would appear to tip the scales of health and safety in favour of licensed premises. Remember though, if you’ve suffered from food poisoning or salmonella from a licensed premises within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault, Accident Advice Helpline may be able to help you to claim public liability compensation.