Food Poisoning Abroad

Food Poisoning Abroad

There is nothing more exciting than venturing off to a far flung country full of culture, history and exotic food. The sights, the smells and the tastes. But, there is one thing that can put you off a destination and ruin your plans. The dreaded bout of food poisoning or tummy bug. It can be as simple as a couple days of increased bowel movements as your body adjusts to to the different foods or, in extreme cases, land you in hospital!

Please don’t let this put you off. There are some simple precautions that you can take to avoid a trip ruining illness. Whilst most of us will need a day or two to adjust to a new, exotic land, simply taking activated charcoal tablets can help with the initial change by killing any abnormal bacteria in your bowels. Read on for some more tips.

Food Poisoning Risks

Simply put, if you can’t peel it, cook it or boil it, forget it! Make sure all your food is piping hot and not under cooked in any way, shape or form. This goes for all cooked foods but especially chicken and seafood products. If using street food, make sure it is cooked in front of you, fresh.

When it comes to fruits, vegetables and salads, there is a misconception that these are always safe to eat. Many popular and exotic destinations do not have tap water that is safe for consumption. Fruit and vegetable products whilst very healthy, may be washed in the same water you have been advised not to drink! This is the same for ice. Make sure your cold cocktail contains ice that is commercially produced or better still, avoid it altogether. Better safe than sorry. Over indulging in cocktails can make you sick enough without the added bout of food poisoning!

When it does come time to find somewhere for lunch or dinner, there is a general rule which should put you on the right track. If a place is empty, do not eat there. There is a reason nobody is eating their food. Try and find a place buzzing with locals and visitors. This is a good indication of hygiene standards.

One thing to bear in mind though is that food poisoning may occur anywhere. Even at home. I once read a report from a prominent travel insurance company that number one on its list of claims for food poisoning was the clean, safe country of Spain! It just goes to show that common sense is required no matter where in the world you may be. Even your OWN kitchen.

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