How to Avoid Food Poisoning While Traveling

Washing fruit
Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

There are few things that can ruin a trip like getting sick can, and, in our experience, one of the worst kinds of illness to contract while traveling is food poisoning. Beyond just disrupting your overall experience, food poisoning tends to elicit some seriously unpleasant symptoms and can even be quite dangerous if not treated quickly. While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent food poisoning entirely, there are certain steps you can take to minimize risk. Read on to learn more about how.

Drink Responsibly

Bacteria and other microorganisms need water to grow and reproduce, and every country has different standards for how the local water is treated. Untreated water is one of the most common culprits behind food poisoning, so if you’re not sure that the tap water in your destination is safe, limit your consumption to reputable bottled brands. Make sure that the seal is intact before drinking, and avoid ice cubes when dining out. 

Research Safe Restaurants

Unfortunately, sticking to bottled water isn’t enough to prevent food poisoning, as illness-causing microorganisms can also be found in, well, food. Before going out to eat, read up on local eateries recommended by other tourists. Busy restaurants with high customer turnover are most likely to be working with fresh ingredients and are usually safer bets than less popular establishments. Wherever you choose to dine, check that your food is cooked thoroughly, and avoid ordering anything that contains raw ingredients. Even vegetables can pose a risk when washed with untreated water. 

Handle Food Properly

Outdoor markets may be fun to explore, but they can also be a hotbed for bacteria. Exercise caution by only ordering from street food vendors who maintain proper hygiene standards, and clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer before eating.