Food poisoning can happen anywhere, anytime, and any day. However, it is a lot more common to hear people say that they had food poisoning while on holiday compared to having it back on home-ground. Understandably, the readjustments to different cuisines and cooking methods in different countries takes some time getting used to, but if we can prevent food poisoning by practicing food safety, then shouldn’t we?
Follow these two essential tips to guard yourself!
Carry Bottled Water
If you travel to developing countries such as certain parts of Africa and Asia, it is best to completely avoid drinking tap water and stick to bottled or boiled water. This is partially due to the fact that water there may not be treated, and so could be contaminated by bacteria and parasites that cause hepatitis, cholera, and typhoid fever. Even a small gulp of untreated water is enough to cause major illness, so remember to carry bottled water with you at all times.
Always wipe the mouth of the bottle with a damp cloth or tissue, as water on the outside of bottles may be contaminated. If the situation calls for it and you need to boil your own water for consumption, boil it for at least three minutes.
Look out for Locals
Crowded restaurants that have a strong presence of locals is a good way to tell if the establishment has a clean and safe reputation. However, while you may enjoy being adventurous on your trip, try to stay clear from street vendors even if there are locals that eat from there. Most street vendors don’t have the right certifications from food safety authorities. Therefore, they may not practice the best food safety guidelines.
Always order food items that contain antibacterial properties such as chillies and turmeric, and fresh, hot food. Don’t order food items that have been displayed on the counter for too long.
Essential Travel Items
|Gel-based sanitizer||Germs linger longer on nonporous materials like plastic. So if you’re traveling via plane, train or bus, wipe down common surface areas such as tray tables, armrests, and lavatory door handles with an alcohol-based wipe or gel before you use them.|
|Long-lasting snacks such as packed nuts, energy bars and cereal||In case you don’t find a decent-looking and safe restaurant close by, you will be able to manage with your stash of safe snacks instead of consuming food items from local vendors.|
|Bottled water||Bottled water and drinks may not be available all the time, so having a few emergency bottles of water or milk might come in handy, especially if you have children with you.|