Sampling the local food is a highlight for many travellers, but while the mind may be game, your body will not always be so cooperative. Afterall, it is your belly that will be in distress after consuming food your body is not accustomed to.
1. Be aware of who is handling the food. Avoid establishments where the food handlers don’t practice good hygiene such as tying back their hair, wearing protective gloves and having clean hands and fingernails. If you see food servers touching their face, smoking, chewing gum, or sneezing or coughing near food, avoid purchasing food from that vendor.
2. Look for crowds. When surveying the street food scene in any location, look for crowds — locals get sick, too, and won’t return to stalls suspected of serving unsafe food, so if there’s a crowd, it’s usually a safer choice to make.
3. Be selective when choosing foods. Since raw food is subject to contamination, travellers should try to avoid salads, uncooked vegetables and unpasteurised juices and milk products. Dry foods such as cakes, cookies, and bread are safer options.
4. Spice things up. Become familiar with spices, such as chilies and turmeric, that is known to have anti-bacterial properties and seek out dishes that include them. Acidic fruits, such as citrus fruits and pineapple, are also safer bets when travelling.
5. Boil tap water before consuming. If you need to use tap water from an unknown source, be sure to boil it for several minutes first at a good rolling boil. Also, avoid consuming beverages that may be mixed with the local tap water supply, such as juices or sodas from sources such as fountain machines or beverages containing ice, since freezing does not kill most microorganisms. Beverages made with boiled water and served steaming hot (such as tea and coffee) are generally safe to drink.
6. Not all bottled water is safe. Bottled water products in other countries can be impure or even counterfeit (i.e., refilled from a local tap source), so always check the seal to ensure it is intact.
The list goes on. For six more tips on safe eating while travelling go here.
Picture credit: Pixabay
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