Staying Healthy While Eating Abroad
For the traveler who wants to remain both healthy and energetic it is important to eat and to drink well. Plus lets be real, one of the best parts of going on vacation is having an opportunity to sample the local cuisine. But in doing so remember these simple tips to remain healthy, happy and in peak traveling condition.
- Make sure that all prepared food that you eat is COOKED, SERVED HOT and that it preferably comes from a well known, well patronized restaurant.
- Make sure that all dairy products that you consume are pasteurized as the pasteurization process kills many nasty bacteria that can make you sick if you ingest them.
- Wash all non-cooked fruits and vegetables before eating them and avoid eating raw green leafy vegetables since they are difficult to clean properly. Also avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables that you have not peeled and cleaned yourself.
- When shopping for food in local stores stick to brand name foods, prepackaged foods and canned foods.
- Do not eat “street meat” or any food sold by local street vendors unless you want to feel like dead meat. Ultimately when you by food sold by vendors on the street you not only do not know what you are actually eating, but you also do not know how old the food is, how it has been handled or how it has been stored.
- Avoid eating soft or runny eggs. Scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs are the safest.
- Avoid eating marinated, uncooked fresh water fish as eating these dishes may expose you to gastrointestinal parasites. Marinated deep sea fish as is seen with Sushi is however normally safe. If you are unsure of where your uncooked marinated fish came from, be sure to ask.
- Avoid drinking tap water, well water, bottled water with a broken seal, drinks prepared with ice made from the tap or a well and unpasteurized milk.
- You may drink bottled water if the seal is still intact, carbonated beverages, hot beverages like coffee or tea and tap or well water if the water has been disinfected using Iodine tablets.
- You also may safely drink most forms of bottled alcohol, but again avoid drinking them if they have ice made from the local tap or from a local well.
Remember, when it comes to food and beverage safety an ounce of prevention (which should include fastidious personal hygiene like washing your hands with soap and water, front and back for at least 20 seconds before eating or drinking) is worth a pound of cure. By observing simple precautions you can avoid infections with nasty little actors like Hepatitis A, Giardia, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, Cholera and typhoid. At best these these bugs might cause a nasty case of traveler’s diarrhea, but at worst they can cause prolonged illness in some.