Traveling to other countries allows you to immerse yourself in different cultures, traditions, and cuisines. Street food offers an authentic taste of local life, providing a unique experience. However, being cautious while indulging in street delicacies is crucial as they can lead to health issues if you don’t pay attention to certain details. These tips to prevent sickness while eating street food abroad will help you have a more enjoyable adventure.
Observe the Food Stand’s Cleanliness
Before trying any street food, observe the cleanliness of the food stall and how the cooks prepare the meals. Are the vendors wearing gloves when handling the food? Are they washing the utensils and dishes properly? Cleanliness plays a significant role in food safety, and neglecting this aspect can lead to foodborne illnesses.
Beware of Raw and Cold Foods
Raw or cold foods are prone to bacterial growth, increasing the risk of sickness and leading to severe body aches. Avoid eating raw salads, fruits, or cold meals from street vendors, especially if you notice that they have been sitting under the sun for a long time. Stick to cooked and hot foods, which are less likely to harbor bacteria.
Hydrate With Safe Drinking Water
Always hydrate with bottled or treated water, especially when you don’t know where a city’s water comes from. Avoid putting ice in your beverages because it could come from unclean water. Consuming unsafe water can lead to several waterborne diseases like cholera, E. coli, and even salmonella. Drinking bottled water will prevent salmonella poisoning, which could ruin your trip because of its severe symptoms.
Always Eat Cooked Food
We cannot stress this tip enough. Eating food chefs cook in front of you, whenever possible, is one of the best ways to avoid foodborne illnesses while traveling. The heat from the cooking process kills most bacteria, reducing the risk of food poisoning. Sometimes, the cooking process might be different as chefs use different ingredients to achieve unique flavors, but you must ensure they thoroughly cook all the meat they serve.
Trust Your Gut
Your gut instinct is an invaluable tool when navigating foreign food scenes. You shouldn’t shy away from every unfamiliar food you see, rather, make informed choices based on observation and instinct. The smell of the food can also be a powerful indicator. Trust your gut if something smells or looks off and steer clear. While it’s essential to be adventurous when exploring new cuisines, prioritizing your well-being is equally important.
While these tips are essential, don’t let them dull your enthusiasm for trying new cuisines. Indeed, one of the joys of traveling is tasting the local offerings. A bit of caution can go a long way in preventing stomach upsets and even more serious conditions like salmonella poisoning. Explore, but remember to practice these tips to avoid sickness and maximize your street food experience abroad.