The Food Standard Agency (FSA) is urging diners to check food hygiene ratings before booking Christmas meals.
Its latest poll found that 34% of people said they had suspected they had contracted food poisoning from eating out.
However, of the 2,500 people quizzed, 40% didn't check hygiene ratings before booking.
The biggest concern of Christmas meal bookers was that the food wouldn't be enjoyable (25%), while 8% were most concerned about price and only 3.2% had worries about the restaurant's hygiene.
Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme head Catriona Stewart said: "Nobody wants the embarrassment of booking a Christmas meal that is less than perfect. The people we spoke to through our poll spend a lot of time and effort planning festive meals to make sure their family and friends have a good time, yet very few make food hygiene a top priority.
‘We are urging everybody to look before they book if planning that special Christmas meal."
The scheme rates restaurants from 0 to 5, with 0 being the worst rating.