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The restaurant-goers’ dilemma: authentic or hygienic?



What do you look for in a restaurant? Great service? How about tasty grub and a varied wine menu? Maybe even an impressive ambience?

Well, according to new research, a number of you are happy for all of this and more – even at the expense of good hygiene.

This news comes from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which found that a large number of customers visiting Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles don’t mind poor hygiene, so long as the venue maintains an “authentic” tone.

The lead professors on the study were inspired to conduct research after hearing about customer protests when Chinese restaurants were prevented from hanging chicken carcasses in their windows, for fear of hygiene concerns.

The clamour this raised, despite being on the grounds of public health, led the researchers to ask one question – will people risk unhygienic places in the name of authenticity? And the answer was a resounding yes.

It’s a cause for concern, certainly. If you shrug off dirty surfaces in food-preparing premises then nasty bacteria like E coli, salmonella and even parasites could leave you ill for weeks.

Yet, despite this being common knowledge, some foodies value the look and feel of a restaurant more than their personal health.

Make sure you’re not one of those falling ill from poor meals and dirty premises. Know the restaurant you’re visiting has a good hygiene rating, effective washroom and meals that don’t sound like they were made in a gutter.

Most of all, don’t just take a restaurant’s word for it – ensure good hygiene and clean surfaces with research, research and more research.