Because of their reliance on truck stop diners and restaurants for their meals, commercial or owner operator truckers have a better than average risk of food poisoning. However, you can reduce this risk and save money by eating more of your own truck prepared food. On the occasions that you want to splurge a little and eat out, here are five signs that the food may get you sick:
The Restaurant Looks Abandoned
When a restaurant has no customers while others are busy, there are two explanations. Either it’s a new restaurant that opened recently, or the locals and other commercial or owner operator truckers are avoiding it. Whatever their reasons, it’s best not to find out the hard way that the food is unsafe.
Be Careful of Buffet Food and Salad Bars
The food in both can easily become spoiled if they aren’t maintained at certain temperatures. The FDA requires an internal temperature of 140 degrees F for hot foods. Similarly, chilled foods at salad bars must have an internal temperature of 40 degrees F. Maintaining these temperatures isn’t easy, and the safest choice is avoiding these foods altogether. However, if you must eat buffet food, you should see some form of heating such as heat lamps or heated trays. Note that this heating may have been off for an extended time before your arrival.
Avoid the Special, and Eat the Popular Items
The special may use old food the restaurant is trying to get rid of before it goes bad. On the other hand, the food used in popular orders have a high turnover, which ensures that it doesn’t stay around long enough to get old. Likewise, food that’s rarely ordered sits around for extended times.
Don’t Eat Questionable Food
If the food on your plate doesn’t seem right, send it back. For example, undercooked food, food that doesn’t look right, or food that smells bad or tastes funny.
Signs of Poor Sanitation and Hygiene
Dirty silverware, plates, and glasses, or a “cleaned” table that feels sticky, all indicate that cleanliness isn’t a priority for the restaurant. What you see around you is a good indicator of the kitchen’s condition. Other signs are overflowing garbage cans, dirty bathrooms, and sick employees.
If you have questions about commercial or owner operator truck insurance in South Carolina, we are happy to answer them. Please contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC.