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Pandemic raises importance of restaurant hygiene, survey finds

The screenshot of survey results on important factors to choose restaurants, conducted by Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp (Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp)
The screenshot of survey results on important factors to choose restaurants, conducted by Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp (Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp)
Cleanliness has risen as a key factor in choosing where to eat out since the pandemic started, a survey showed Sunday.

According to data from Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp, 92.1 percent of 1,341 respondents aged between 20 and 69 said they thought restaurants cleanliness was important when choosing where to eat, compared to just 22.7 percent in 2019.

The figure was the second most-important factor, behind taste and food quality on 94.3 percent. In 2019, cleanliness ranked fourth, while 71.6 percent chose taste as a priority.

Others said cost-effectiveness, service quality and reputation of restaurants were key factors to consider.

The survey asked the participants to give scores to some 12 factors considered important to decide good restaurants.

The state-run food distribution and export promotion agency said demands of eating out at safe restaurants have soared since the COVID-19.

Kim Ji-min, a 29-year-old Seoulite, said she has started to consider whether restaurants undergo a thorough cleaning and sterilization of the kitchen and dining area.

“I think the sterilization process somewhat reduces the possibility of the coronavirus pathogens from spreading to customers. I try not to go to places with poor hygiene even if the food tastes good there,” Kim said.

By Byun Hye-jin (hyejin2@heraldcorp.com)
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