The social changes that have taken place over the last few decades have meant a reduction in the time available to spend on household chores and an increase in the demand for prepared food. At the same time there has been an increase in eating outside the home and in the demand for quickly prepared food to be eaten at home. Today, up to 60% of Spaniards who work do not eat at home. Over 8000 million kilograms of food are consumed by various catering services, compared to almost 26000 million kilograms consumed at home.

This increase in demand has always been linked to the need to reduce time spent on household chores. But this tendency has not often been linked to an increase in consumer demands for food safety, which is often implicitly taken for granted.

However, nothing is farther from reality, since the hazards associated with food have been increasing. In some cases, owing to inadequate food handling practices; in other cases, as a result of incorrect storage temperatures or to lack of hygiene.

Foods that contain eggs in any form are among the most dangerous. It is necessary to apply stricter hygiene practices to ensure the safety of these products. But it is also essential to use the correct temperatures and times, from preparation to eating. The veterinary health inspection of these premises and products, in place since the end of the 19th century, insists nowadays on supervising the different food safety management procedures that are required.

But tapas and salads are still frequently seen in bars and restaurants displayed at room temperature. We obviously advise against consuming these dishes. This poor hygienic practice increases the hazards associated with these dishes in ways that are difficult to predict, especially if they are meant to be eaten chilled.

You should pay attention to this when choosing where to eat. It will give you a better idea of the hygiene of the premises than if you look at the luxury or size of the dining room, which are not always linked to good hygienic practices.

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