Is it Safe? 3 Surprisingly Easy Food Safety Tips for Travelers

By DAN Boater
Look for fruit that you have to peel
Look for fruit that you have to peel
Look for fruit that you have to peel

Nothing ruins a good trip quite like an upset stomach. Maybe you have dietary restrictions or allergies that are difficult to navigate, or maybe you just ate food that was improperly stored. Whatever the case, you could be down for a few hours, if not days. While safe eating while traveling will vary somewhat depending on your destination, here are our general guidelines to keep you from getting sick while traveling.

Choose Seals

One of the easiest things you can do is only consume foods and beverages that have been sealed in some way. For instance, get bottled water instead of tap water, and only eat fruit that you have to peel. You may also choose to get a bottle of wine or liquor instead of drinking from a pitcher. In any case, when your foods and beverages are sealed, you are usually safe. Also, remember that most ice is made from tap water and is just as suspect as drawing a glass of water from the tap directly.

Follow Locals

Obviously, you don't want to head to the coast only to eat peeled fruit and alcohol (or maybe you do, we won't judge). There are lots of great local foods you are bound to encounter on your travels and taste experiences that are one of a kind, if you know where to look. Our best advice here is to follow the locals. Busy restaurants tend to be safe, and good! Also, take note of what other customers are ordering. You might stumble across a locally famous dish, but if you keep your nose in the menu, the chance could pass you by.

Avoid Raw

If you are a salad, seafood, sushi or beef tartare person, you may need to reel it in when you are in certain areas. Raw foods are notorious for contamination. Many places simply don't have the standards of hygiene that are standard in the developed world, and their lack of care could make you sick. You should also avoid raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products. While many of these foods will be perfectly fine, the odds are greater than you could get sick from raw foreign fare than cooked foods.

Lastly, keep your activities in mind. For instance, if you are going to be diving, you may want to cut your fat intake and drop your calorie count the day before. Afterwards, you will need to take in extra hydration and carbs, and to avoid alcohol for a few hours. Likewise, if you are going to be sailing between islands, remember that some of the foods you encounter during your voyage may not be safe to consume, so make sure to pack a lunch.

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