Reducing Your Risks When Dining Out

There is much you can’t control but if you are diligent about the things you can you WILL reduce your risks.


Wash your hands before eating. When leaving the restroom be careful not to re-contaminate them.

Look for contaminated tableware or glasses and ask for replacements.

Don’t drink using uncovered straws or consume drinks with cut fruit.

Don’t place the eating part of your tableware on the table. Leave it on a napkin or a plate.

If you witness someone preparing or serving your food that is obviously ill, has open sores or is not using good hygiene demand new food, a new server or refuse to eat there.

If your food is served and looks or tastes spoiled, is not the right temperature or is contaminated return it and ask for a new serving.

Ground red meats and poultry must be thoroughly cooked with no red.


Author: Dr. Harlan Stueven, MD

Harlan Stueven M.D. is a Board-Certified Emergency physician with sub-specialization in Environmental Toxicology and Board Certification in Medical Toxicology. Starting his career in the USAF, he served as a Flight Surgeon and Environmental Health Consultant Physician where one of his duties was monitoring food safety. In his nearly 40-year practice, he treated a range of medical, surgical and poisoning emergencies. He has been a Medical Director and/or Chairman of several hospital-based Emergency Medicine Departments, served as the President of Emergency and Environmental Medicine consulting group, a physician group Chief Financial Officer and sat on many national, state and local committees. Dr. Stueven founded Dining Grades and the Dining Safety Alliance to improve food safety by increasing awareness of food borne illness and the formation of partnerships within the food industry. He is a consultant to the Wisconsin Retail Food Establishment Grading Work Group; a Co-investigator in a CDC funded “Evaluation of Health Department Restaurant Inspection Programs” project. He has presented at several National, State and Regional conferences on restaurant grading and food safety. He is an accomplished leader, medical researcher, a champion of process improvement, author, and national and international speaker.

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