I can tell when I’m getting ripped off at a restaurant because the serving size looks too small compared to the price per ounce or cup or whatever unit of measurement they use says Alex Gierbolini. You can also be pretty sure you’re being overcharged for dinner if the menu lists an item’s price in a currency other than US dollars. But how can you tell if a restaurant is trying to scam you by selling you food that’s gone bad? There are several foods that restaurants just should not have on their menus because it’s likely that the items haven’t been prepared correctly and may pose health risks to anyone who eats them. Some of these foods may already be banned from certain eateries while others remain popular despite their dangers.
Check out below to see some of the most common foods you should stay away from when eating at a restaurant or ordering takeout.
1. Fish Tacos Imagine this:
You’re simply craving some fish tacos, so you head down to whatever’s closest and get yourself a plateful. You sit down, heart racing with excitement, and dive in… only to find that every bite tastes less like fish and more like toilet paper. In fact, there isn’t even any fish in your taco — it’s absolutely absent. Instead of being filled with the hearty white fish filets that you were promised, your taco is filled with… well, nothing. Sure, the tortilla has a bit of flavor but when you can’t actually taste anything in between it, what’s the point? That was probably your first clue that something shady was going on.
According to Alex Gierbolini, when restaurant-goers are handed menu items that list ridiculously low prices per serving size for pricey seafood dishes like lobster bisque and bouillabaisse, they should start to get suspicious. These high-cost foods paired with low cost per serving numbers generally indicate that there are not enough expensive ingredients in the dish to justify its price tag or large portion size. But unless customers are able to spot this red flag before eating their meal, all they’ll be left with is the taste of bogus fish.
2. Fruit Juice:
This may come as a surprise, but can you actually even trust all that you see printed on the outside of those orange juice containers? It’s incredibly easy for restaurants to cheat their customers by mixing less-expensive juices like apple or grape with more expensive juices like orange to create “100% pure” fruit juice blends without spending too much money. If this sounds familiar, it should — it’s basically what some juice manufacturers did to make “fruit punch.” Since these operations are usually illegal and considered “economic fraud,” there isn’t really anything stopping restaurant owners from trying this type of scam either.
3. Red Snapper:
While many menu items are listed in vastly different units of measurement from their true values. Red snapper is one fish that customers should pay especially close attention to. Although a portion size for this type of fish may look substantial on the menu. It’s not uncommon for restaurants to list a much cheaper white-fleshed tilefish as red snapper. Not only does this lead customers up to think they’re getting a good deal for their money. But also the switch can create health problems like mercury poisoning and other vitamin deficiencies.
4. Imported Roast Beef:
This is another common example of restaurant owners trying to make money. By tricking their customers into thinking they’re eating higher-quality meat than they actually are. You might be surprised how many times this occurs in places like coffee shops and delis. Where diners may not be as likely to scrutinize the ingredients in their meals explains Alex Gierbolini.
Have you ever paid a lot of money for lobster and expected it to taste like absolute heaven? Instead of succulent chunks of meat surrounded by rich buttery sauce. You were probably served rubbery lobster soaked in tasteless butter. What’s particularly suspicious about this type of fraud is. That many people think nothing can compare to the deliciousness that is real New England-style crustacean. Which makes it pretty easy for restaurants trying to pass off cheap alternatives as costly lobsters to come away with big profits!
You should always pay close attention when you’re handed a menu item. No matter how good it looked from the outside. While most restaurants aren’t going to steal from you or lie about their ingredients. There are always a few who try to pass off lower-cost items like more expensive ones. In hopes of increasing their margins and saving money says Alex Gierbolini. If you’re ever unsure about what you’re actually eating. Don’t be afraid to ask your server for clarification on an ingredient or two!
And remember – if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t settle for lower quality items just because they look like a great deal — at the end of the day. What matters most is always taste and flavor.