How many times have you gone to a restaurant and ordered the night’s special meal?  Or gone to the bathroom and noticed it was in less than prime condition?  Niall Harbison, regular contributor at, says those are just the kind of things we should be on alert for when heading out to a restaurant for a meal.

Here are Niall’s top 10 tips to avoid getting a foodborne illness:

1. Never eat fish on a Monday! Chances are the chef bought it for the busy Saturday night, didn’t sell it and it has sat in the fridge all day Sunday. It is on its last legs. 

2. Get your nose into the food and smell it! It should be aromatic and delicious. If there is any sort of funny smell send it back. 

3. Always order popular items on the menu as the turnover on these items will be high meaning the food hasn’t been lying around the fridge. 

4. Are the toilets in pristime condition? This is one part of the restaurant that you can see and if the staff can’t be bothered to have these shining then the chances are the kitchen will be a dump as well!

5. Ask to see the kitchen. Don’t have the balls to do this? Would you go in and pay a couple of hundred euros for a pair of shoes or a dress without trying it on?

6. Beware of specials. Although ideally made using some amazing produce the chef has received they can often be a way of moving some of the older stock by dressing it up and giving it a new name!

7. Don’t eat somewhere that is quiet if all the other places nearby are busy! This is a simple one but if a restaurant is quiet it is usually because it is shite!

8. If you are cooking at home, be very careful when preparing raw meat. Make sure to wash the chopping board and knife after you are done .

9. Be careful with buffet food! This is lethal! It needs to be kept hot and becomes a huge risk when it is just kept lukewarm allowing bacteria to multiply.

10. Only eat at a “salad bar” if you have loaded gun pointed at your head! Salad bars are one of the main places that Mr Food Poisoning likes to hide out!