PUBLISHED : 30 Jan 2024 at 17:44
A Department of Health Service Support survey has exposed five health risks diners face when sitting down to a self-cooked restaurant tabletop BBQ.
DHSS deputy chief Samart Thirasak said that from Dec 4 to 22 last the department surveyed 26,889 restaurant-goers nationwide, and 32% said they often partook in DIY barbecue pork buffets.
Many diners engaged in unheathy eating practices which could lead to infection with non-communicable illnesses, Dr Samart said.
One of the risks of eating barbecue food stems from people using the same utensils to handle raw and cooked food – a bad habit admitted to by 44.7% of diners.
Dr Samart said these people were at risk of sensorineural hearing loss (or deafness fever) caused by Streptococcus suis, a bacteria commonly found in raw meat.
The 62.9% of BBQ diners who preferred to eat pork belly were at risk of disease caused by overconsumption of fat, including hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
A seafood-loving 58.8% reported excess consumption that could lead to high cholesterol and risk from ingesting the preservative formalin. And 58.4% said they always chose soft drinks over water with their food which, according to Dr Samart, can lead to diabetes due to the high sugar content.
The survey showed that 42% of diners overeat at buffet restaurants.
Dr Samart suggested that people should not sit down to a restaurant BBQ buffet more than once or twice a month.
Diners should avoid sweet, salty and greasy foods and, where possible, switch from red meat, sweets and soft drinks to fish, chicken, fruits and water.
Dr Samart also advised diners to chew their food well before swallowing, in addition to making an extra effort to keep utensils used for raw and cooked foods separate, to prevent the spread of bacterial disease.