Close to two-thirds of French people say they go to a restaurant at least once a month (all types of catering combined), according to a study of 1,000 people by Qualimétrie and Vertone. To make this moment a real pleasure, the journalist and cooking enthusiast, Philippe de Mélambès, lists us, in his book Restaurant Survival Guide published by Alpen, healthy mistakes to avoid in restaurants. To discover in pictures.

Why do you sometimes have to be wary of the dish of the day?

“In principle, the dish of the day poses absolutely no health problem”, Philippe de Mélambès immediately suggests in his book. Nevertheless, the specialist points the finger the practices of certain restaurateurs who take advantage of the offer of the day to get rid of end-of-life or even expired products and ingredients as quickly as possible. “It’s less rare than you think and it can be a problem in terms of health. Especially if, in addition, the storage and conservation conditions have not been rigorous : interruption of the cold chain, lack of hygiene in the fridges or the pantry, etc”, he specifies.

Some signs of food poisoning should alert you, such as:

  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

“In the majority of cases, these signs appear in the hours following the regrettable meal and, in any case, within 48 hours.” In this case, you should consult a health professional as soon as possible. The risks depend on the pathogen, age and health of the consumer. “For information, end-of-life or expired foods the most dangerous are, among others, eggs and poultry”, adds the kitchen specialist.

5 healthy mistakes not to make at the restaurant

According to Philippe de Mélambès, ice cubes in drinks pose “serious problems” in many restaurants because they are made with tap water. “It is loaded with chemicals, sometimes chemical pesticide residues, or even in some cases heavy metals that induce many serious pathologies ranging from anxiety and depression to Alzheimer’s disease and various cancers, including abdominal pain, muscle weakness, dizziness, hallucinations, loss of appetite, hypertension…” .

5 healthy mistakes not to make at the restaurant

The problem comes from the fact that this bread is often made from white flour. “White bread, especially made on an industrial scale, is made from (bad) refined flours which are the poorest on the market. They provide little flavor and even fewer calories. Or just “empty calories” that provide no essential nutrients to the body.”

5 healthy mistakes not to make at the restaurant

Too sweet, too salty, too fatty and too rich in toxico-chemical additives, but desperately poor in essential vitamins, calcium and nutrientsthe burger is a health time bomb: increased cholesterol levels, dietary fiber deficiencies, cardiovascular disorders, obesity and cancers are just some of the health problems faced by regular burger consumers. ”

5 healthy mistakes not to make at the restaurant

According to Philippe de Mélambès, it would be more prudent to avoid fish at the beginning of the week in the restaurant, because it will not be extra-fresh fish. “At best, it usually stayed two to four days in the establishment’s fridges. This has an impact in terms of flavors but also in terms of health. A fish that is not very fresh risks being a carrier of bacteria.”

5 healthy mistakes not to make in restaurants

If from a health point of view, undercooked meats are time bombs, overcooked meats are just as dangerous, according to the specialist. “First risk: it is very easy for an unscrupulous cook to camouflage meat at the end of its life under overcooking. The health risks are therefore very real, because while cooking (almost) spoiled meat at high temperatures eliminates certain bacteria, it does not in any way eliminate the toxins responsible for potentially serious illnesses.”


Restaurant survival guide, Alpen editions, Philippe de Mélambès

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