Everyone knows that fast food can be a bit grim and we have all heard the horror stories, but we never really know if it is urban legend or if these things are really happening in the places we are buying junk food.
To be honest, when I was a student and I was drunk after a long night, I didn’t really care about the food I was eating, I guess that was kind of obvious at the weight I was, but I didn’t even give a second thought to how clean the place was. My only criteria was that I could get the most food for the least money when my student loan was running low. Fast forward a few years and not only am I much more concious about what goes in to my food, but also the environment that it is prepared in. I love restaurants with an open kitchen, not just because it is likely to be cleaner, but being a foodie I like to see everything being made.
The fact is, not matter how healthy you are, chances are you are going to still get fast food at some time. We still order pizza on occasion, because as much as I prefer my own homemade pizza, when that pizza craving hits and I don’t have any homemade dough in the freezer, I don’t want to wait hours to make fresh dough. We don’t order often, so we don’t stress about it. I do draw the line at McDonalads though. That is a personal choice as I think their food is grim and it is so quick and easy to make your own delicious burgers. I have a whole section on the blog dedicated to healthy versions of takeaway, including the recipe for cumin lamb burgers that is pictured above.
I must admit though, that after this eye-opening report on fast food places, it has put me off totally from ordering food and if I don’t have a healthier alternative prepared, then I will just have to have it another day.
Here are some of the things that the report found:
- Chicken Cottage ranked worst, with a low average score of just 3/5
- Burger King Ranked Highest overall, with a score of 4.85
- Incidents reported by FSA inspectors included:
- Out of date chicken used at Chicken Cottage in Aylesbury
- Mouse droppings and sleeping workers at Domino’s Pizza in London
- Rodents found on the premises at Burger King in Brent Cross
I am always confused when I see restaurants or takeaways have their FSA sticker in the window with their rating of 3. In fact, I am always confused when anyone advertises they are less than a 5, which is the highest rating. Why would you advertise that your hygiene is less than perfect? I don’t think there should be any grey areas here – your restaurant is either hygienic or it isn’t.
If you are going to eat fast food, here are some tips:
- Look/ask for a food hygiene rating sticker/leaflet provided by the FSA
- Use the FSA website to find out the given rating of the fast food restaurant
- Check with your local council to see if there have been any known health issues
I know that unless you grow and make everything yourself, you can never be 100% sure what is in your food, and there have been horror stories about people opening tins of beans and finding a mouse, but you can start to eliminate the risks and for me that is not ordering fast food and making as much from scratch as I can.
Have you had any bad fast food experiences?
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