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I know how to practice good food safety at home. Is there anything I can do to prevent food-related illnesses when I dine out?

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available to protect us from Escherichia coli-based illness. When eating in a restaurant, there may be online sources that provide readings or grades for restaurants, based upon such factors as cleanliness and prior history of foodborne health problems. Many large cities are now adopting a grading system, which in the case of New York City has proved helpful, significantly reducing the number of food-related illnesses there in the last year.

Making wise food choices can also help prevent problems. Make sure all beef and poultry products are cooked to a temperature of 160° or higher (most menus in restaurants today require this notification). Also, don’t be afraid to ask restaurant staff if they thoroughly wash raw produce or if kitchen assistants typically wear vinyl or latex gloves while preparing foods.