5 Ways to Spot an Unsanitary Restaurant — Health Inspectors

By: Sarah De Heer

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors in a restaurant? Starting tonight, Ben Vaughn will scour restaurants and cafes to find out if they come up to par with today's health standards in Food Network's newest show, Health Inspectors. Traveling from Louisiana to states in the Midwest, Ben examines and exposes the infractions of establishments and then teaches the owners, managers and staff the tools and procedures to follow in order to stay in business. Will these struggling establishments survive? Their success will depend on how well they follow the advice of our chef, restaurateur and consultant, Ben Vaughn.

Can you spot an unsanitary restaurant? We chatted with Ben and asked him for five tips that customers should be on the lookout for:

1. Restrooms: Check out the restrooms first. Are they clean? Check the floors. Are paper towels readily available and is the soap dispenser full?

2. Menus: Many restaurants use clear covers on their dining menus because they're easy to clean, but are they actually cleaning them? Check for fingerprints — and note whether the menu feels sticky.

3. Floors: Does it look like the staff mops regularly and with a clean solution? Some restaurants just sweep and sometimes I find that debris has been pushed into the corner.

4. Staff uniforms: Has the staff taken the time to clean themselves and wear pressed shirts and clean aprons? Take a special look at their shoes. Are they clean? Debris always falls on the ground in a restaurant; I would frequently wash my shoes.

5. Use your senses: Smell and look around. Uninviting smells like old grease or mildew are bad signs. Customers should be able to visually see everything unless they're at a romantic restaurant that has dim lighting. If the restaurant is poorly lit otherwise, chances are management is covering something up they don’t want you to see.

Tune in to the series premiere of Health Inspectors: 10:30pm ET/PT.

(Contributions by Kristina Mellegard)
Keep Reading

Next Up

5 “Health” Foods That Are Overrated

Five foods nutrition experts say diners might want to get smart about.

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Avocados

These super fruits are not only delicious, but are also packed with nutritional and health benefits that may surprise you.

Soy and Your Health

Discover the benefits and controversies surrounding soy.

The Health Benefits of Juicing

Do the health benefits of juicing live up to the hype? Find out.

The Health Benefits of Seafood

Good reasons to eat more fish

The Best Beverages For Your Health

When it comes to the healthiest beverage choices, water tops the list. But where do juice, coffee, tea, milk and even alcohol fit into a healthy lifestyle?

How Honey Can Boost Your Health

4 reasons to include honey in your healthy diet.

Deciphering Health Studies

Reports on health studies appear on the news regularly, but the information is often misleading or very confusing. How can you know what to believe?

Legumes for Heart Health

Beans, beans are good for your heart—and so are peas and lentils! A new study concluded that beans, peas and lentils can help lower your risk of heart disease. Here are some delightful legume-filled dishes to include in your healthy eating plan