Just pack up and travel! Easier said than done. There is so much to prepare before and during the trip. Food and water can be most worrisome when you travel to developing countries. You hear stories about traveller’s diarrhea or contaminated food and water. At the end of the day, are you going to avoid food altogether? Don’t fret, this guide will help you in determining what you need to know in terms of food safety when travelling internationally.
Food is one of the best part of travelling. The temptation to taste food from all around the world is what makes it interesting; especially FREE food. Some places would give out free samples and it’s hard to say “No”. You can try them but your stomach might not be able to catch up to your taste buds. Hence, you just have to watch for how the food is served.
Thoroughly cooked food that is served hot is safe for consumption. Do keep a lookout if the food is left out in the open for too long. It will potentially be dangerous due to contamination the surroundings. It depends where you are and how strong your stomach is. Street food may be unclean if they are situated at roadside where the dust particles and soot are present.
Raw food is to be avoided to prevent any potential food-borne illnesses such as salmonellosis or cholera. Unlike the Japanese who are famous for serving fresh raw cuts every day, think twice before putting that raw piece of meat into your mouth.
Water should be bottled or boiled in order to be safe for consumption. In the undeveloped areas, even bottled water can be contaminated. You can always opt for the brands of water that are more commercialized. Same goes for the dairy products. You should avoid dairy products that are unpasteurized. Be extra cautious of the milk that goes into your coffee or tea as well.
2. Lethal food combinations
Accidentally mixing drugs and some type of foods will lead to serious health issues. Especially when we are abroad, hospitals can either be hard to find or the cost may be really expensive. Lime and cough mixture, alcohol and insulin, seaweed and anti-thyroid drugs, dairy and antibiotics. This are combinations that may create toxic or dampen the effects of the drugs taken.
When stand alone, foods as such are delicious or nutritious even. You’ll never know what happens inside the stomach after consumption. Milk with citrus fruits, mint with aerated drinks, proteins and sugars as well as protein with starch are one of the few combinations that will caused indigestion in the stomach.
3. Food Allergies
Those who have a weak tolerant towards some types of food should be prepared before travelling. You should always remember to pack your medical prescriptions just in case of emergencies. Be mindful of what is served when you travel to a foreign country. The usual food allergies that people encounter are:
- Tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans
- Shellfish such as crab, lobster, and prawns
All in all, the time spent traveling will be enjoyable when you are familiar with food safety. With the internet at our fingertips, you can search for food places in advance for reviews and comments. Don’t let it stop you from tasting and experiencing the food from different cultures!