Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Italian Restaurants: The Safest Place To Dine Out?

Given that “ethnic foods” has been unfairly branded as “unsafe to eat” (at least in America), are Italian restaurants really the safest place to dine out to?

By: Ringo Bones 

Ever since the first commercial restaurants opened for business in America, ethnic foods had been unfairly branded as something wanting when it comes to passing municipal health-code compliance. But are some restaurants – health wise at least – really safer than others, or are they just too “ethnic” for the American palate and / or digestive tract? 

A study conducted back in 1995 in the United States on the “riskiest” places to dine out / eat out – and it was not just limited to commercial restaurants by the way. The researchers arrived at these figures by estimating that each state resident goes to each type of restaurant / public eating place once a year – which may not be the case. At any rate, the table below shows a typical American’s yearly risk of falling ill to food poisoning via e-coli or related pathogens at the following restaurants: 

Italian Restaurant  -------------------------------------------------- 1 in 1,400,000
Fast Food Restaurant ---------------------------------------------- 1 in 440,000
Business Meeting --------------------------------------------------- 1 in 400,000
Family Gathering ---------------------------------------------------- 1 in 388,000
Delicatessen ---------------------------------------------------------- 1 in 240,000
Mexican Restaurant ------------------------------------------------ 1 in 136,000 

Ever since the 1980s, most cases of food poisoning caught while dining out that got attention of primetime news broadcasts are mostly on big commercial burger joint franchises like Jack-In-The-Box, Burger King and in some cases McDonald’s. A famous Mexican-themed fast-food joint – like Taco Bell – sometimes gets press coverage whenever customers get sick with e-coli poisoning via contaminated vegetables – as in tomatoes and cabbages – got accidentally mixed in into the tacos. So are we better off dining out into the nearest Olive Garden branch instead? 

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