Is It Necessary To Avoid Doubtful Meat Even In a Muslim Restaurant?

Question: Is it always necessary to avoid doubtful meat? 
Dear questioner,
When discussing the issue of eating out and halal meat, I always find that returning back to the words of Allah, Most High and his Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) put things into perspective.
Allah, Most High says: “O humanity! Eat from what is lawful and good on the earth and do not follow Satan’s footsteps. He is truly your sworn enemy.” [Quran, 2:168]
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) made mention of a person who travels for a long period of time, his hair is disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky and makes a supplication saying: “‘My Lord! My Lord!’ But his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful, how can, then his supplication be accepted?’” [Muslim]
Muslims are required to only consume that which is permissible because our food has a direct relationship with our ability to worship and much more.
We are obligated to eat halal meat, hence it is necessary to know what halal meat is.
If one knows what halal meat is and goes to a restaurant that advertises halal, they should follow this advice:
  1. If the restaurant sells anything haram such as alcohol, they should not eat the meat until they verify the source.
  2. If one knows for a fact that there is no halal meat offered in this particular part of town, they should not eat the meat until they verify the source.
  3. If the restaurant has a valid certification from a well-known halal meat certifier, they may eat the meat.
  4. If one feels confident that this restaurant is run by Muslims who understand what halal is, they may eat the meat.
Having a degree of scrupulousness and Taqwa when it comes to Halal Meat is not only rewarded immensely by Allah, Most High but also of utmost importance in regards to our spiritual refinement.
For more information on what exactly Halal meat is and other related issues, please read:
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
And Allah knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani