To all travelers, discovering different local food is always the funniest part of their trips. However, you are likely to be exposed to food contamination when eating some strange foods that you have never tried before. It results in food poisoning - a nightmare for all tourists.
Here are some tips that can help you to avoid bad situations of food poisoning.
1. Watch out foods you eat
Be careful with food from street vendors
People normally say street food is the soul of cuisine culture in any destinations you are travelling to, and everyone wants to try it out. Most street food have been already prepared at home or cooked right on the sidewalk where a number of people passing by every minute. This is why street food is generally believed to get exposed to dust and bacterium.
If you don't have a good digestion, try to avoid street food as much as you can even though it's a tough task.
Photo by killerturnip
Avoid food that you are not sure if it is adequately cooked.
Before trying something strange for your taste, you'd better check it out by asking the sellers how it is cooked and what the ingredients involved. Don't be shy to be cusrious about something new, it can save your life. The best way is to choose a stall or a restaurant where you can see their food making process to assure the food is well cooked as raw or under-cooked dishes can contain bacteria or parasites.
Raw vegetables or leafy vegetables might be the culprits of food poisoning.
Raw veggies or leafy veggies is very easily get contaminated by the water used to clean them. We never know where the water from, is it clean enough to wash the vegatables? Such a difficult question! Trying to stay away from raw veggies may be the best option to protect your stomach. Or you can have your veggies boiled before eating.
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Fruits are not as safe as you think
Most people think fruits are safe because they are collected from trees. Yes, fruits are good and healthy and somehow safer than other foods. However, during transportation, storage and cleaning process, they may get polluted. On these days, it shall depend on what kind of fruits you choose. Especially ones grown with more or less chemicals aspesticides and herbicides. The less chemicals put into fruits, the safer you are. Therefore, when you buy fruits or you are offered fruits from hotels or restaurants, it's advisable to peel the layers off.
Sauces of all kind are a hidden risk of food poisoning
In Asia, foods are normally served with sauces. It's needed to know that sauces are commonly made beforehand and put in big jars or bottles for a long time. In some eateries, sauces can't be used up all in one day and the left will be reused for the next day or many days later.In this case, it is the best choice to eat at some popular places where they serve a large number of customers everyday.
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2. Watch out what you drink
Tap water may not be clean.
Not as clean as tap water in Singapore, tap water in many countries sadly have potential danger for your health. The water is not always purified as it looks. It may contain a huge amount of invisual bacteria which causes stomach aches or diarrhea. Sometimes, the tap water is clean enough and well drinkable for locals but it still hurts your health because your stomach haven't got used to with several kinds of water in different places yet. Also, running water in public places such as airports, train stations, on the streets, in the parks,... are not always well processed. Therefore, it must be fine if you can have your water boiled before drinking. Some hotels and resorts are supposed to provide water boilers in the rooms.
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Is bottled water safe when travelling?
Well, it sounds like OK to drink bottled water. Generally, bottled water is sterilized water but it is not always true for some brand names that are not well-known in that local country. It is optional to pick some brands that are popular and widely used by most local people. Ah, don't forget check if the bottle is well sealed.
Try to avoid local ice
When you have food poisoning, you just simply think of what you have eaten or drunk. Normally, you forget another possible ingredient that also negatively affects your health -ICE. Just imagine you come to a restaurant and order a coke, they would bring a bottle coke and a glass of ice. Surely, most of you don't know what source those ice cubes are made from. The truth is that lots of ices out there are made from untreated water. For the sake of your heath and happy travel time, try to stay away from ice even though you are having beer or wine in a bar club or soft drinks in a restaurant somewhere. You should have chilled drinks instead.
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What about ice cream?
Never try ice cream from unreputable sources. The unknown sources includes portable ice cream sellers who may not have adequate refrigerator and ice cream that may have melted and been refrozen for selling.
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3. Watch out what is holding your food or drinks
Are your hands washed before it?
Hand hygine is really important when you start eating. For a long day, your hands may be contaminated from hanging out, touching, shaking, holding things. This is why you need wash your hands carefully to prevent yourself from poor food poisoning. It's also a good habit when you are home or go out. Sometimes, it is not easy to find a place for washing hands so you should bring cleaning hand gel to reduce the risk of being poinsoned.
Photo by Austronesian Expeditions
Cutlery, plates and bowls might not be clean.
When you have buffets at hotels, you pick the spoons, knives, forks, chopsticks and plates which may have been left there for long and not properly washed. The same thing can happen to glasses for drink. It is when your health are in danger with these kinds of facitities.
- Ask the waiters to clean the facitliies for you
- If no one is there, find a towel to clean dishes.
To have a memorable and safe trip, you just need to pay a little more attention and get away from what you think unsafe for your health.
Have happy time with good food, good health!
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