Travel Advice -
What's safe to eat - where?
Food quality is an important issue when
traveling internationally. Most developed countries have hygiene
standards enforced at a governmental level, which helps to ensure the
safety of food and drinking water in these countries. Food and
water consumption in developing countries can be a gamble; you should
exercise selectivity when choosing the types of food to eat while
Food cautions in developing countries
- All “raw” food is subject to contamination. In
areas where hygiene and sanitation are inadequate, avoid salads,
uncooked vegetables, peeled fruits, un-pasteurized milk, and derivative
products , such as cheese.
- Eat food that has been thoroughly cooked
and is still hot.
- If the food has been in a warming tray or
possibly on the side of a grill for a time, ask for something freshly
- Consume fruit that has been washed and peeled by
you. If it came peeled, avoid the fruit due to possible contamination.
- Undercooked food, raw meat, fish, and shellfish
can carry various intestinal pathogens.
- Consumption of these pathogens may result in
intestinal discomfort or diarrhea.
- In addition, some pathogens can be extremely
toxic and even deadly to those travelers with liver disease or other
diseases affecting the immune system
- Cooked food which has stood for several hours can
provide a fertile medium for bacterial growth. For this reason,
consumption of food obtained from street vendors is associated with an
increased risk of illness.
- If you are going to eat food provided by street
vendors (and we recommend that you do not) buy your food during in
the midst of a high traffic period (e.g. lunch) as it is more likely
that the food has not been on the grill or sitting in the sun for a
When tempted by the local food, remember the
following story passed to me by a good friend who had just returned from
Morocco - this is not the way to spend your vacation!
“It has taken almost two weeks to rid ourselves of
the affliction we picked up in Morocco, but it now seems to have
literally passed through. We had tests this week and they found nothing.
We think that it was the birthday cake provided so generously by the
hotel on Monday evening to go with the champagne I ordered. Our last
days in Morocco were spent in bed.”
See our companion article on
"What's safe to drink during travel abroad?"
If you need to find information about Destinations or other Things
Travelers Need To Know, try Googling ThereArePlaces.