Regardless of whether you are travelling or at home, it’s very important that you take good care of your health. As your travels might bring you into contact with various things your body isn’t normally used to, you might get sick more often.
As per statistics revealed by The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, over 10 million people travelling overseas come down with diarrhoea and other types of waterborne and foodborne illnesses. Do you know that loud music makes you eat more junk food, often catching you completely unawares, regardless of what’s there on the plate?! Hence, you need to be double careful with your eating habits during your travels.
Following are some handy tips you can use to eat safely while travelling.
Observe the person handling the food
You must steer clear of eating joints where people preparing food don’t seem to have good hygiene, for instance, they don’t wear protective gloves, don’t tie their hair back, don’t wash their hands etc. If you see any food-servers chewing gum, coughing and/or sneezing, smoking, touching their face near the food, you must absolutely avoid purchasing anything from that vendor.
Go with the crowd
Whenever you survey the street foods of any location, you must go with the crowds. The local people get sick too and they won’t return to places known for serving unsafe food. Hence, if you come across a food stall that has a queue in front of it, you’d be in safe hands as far as the food quality is concerned.
You must also learn whatever you can about the local food, to know what would be safer for you. For instance, if you’re travelling to Thailand, here are the four pillars of Thai food you should be aware of.
Boil tap water
If at all you need to consume tap water from some unknown source, make sure that you boil it well for many minutes, before consumption. Here’s how long you should boil water for purification.
In addition, avoid consuming any beverages that may be created by mixing the local tap water, for instance, the sodas or juices available at the roadside locations. You must also steer clear of any beverages that contain ice, as freezing doesn’t do away with the microorganisms in water.
Any beverage made with boiled water and consumed steaming hot (for example coffee and tea) is generally safe for drinking.
Wash fruits and vegetables before eating
If you buy any fresh vegetables and fruits from a roadside vendor, make sure that you wash them well and peel before consuming. Many of these items have bacteria on their exterior surfaces, which can even find its way into the interior edible sections while slicing. If you are in an area known for its unsafe water, ensure that you wash any such produce with filtered or bottled water instead. You could use the information on this page to wash fruits and vegetables correctly.
Sanitise frequently touched areas
Germs are known to linger longer on nonporous surfaces like plastic. So, whenever you are travelling in a bus, train or an airplane, wipe any frequently touched surfaces like lavatory door handles, armrests, tray tables etc. with some alcohol-based wipe. Make sure that you do the same with the telephone, door handles and TV remote controls during your stay in a hotel.