The chance to sample exotic food and drink is one of the things that make international travel so exciting and enjoyable, but ingesting the wrong things can quickly turn a fun adventure into a miserable ordeal, or even a serious health crisis. Whether you plan to dine extravagantly on your trip or just get by on the basics, following some accepted rules for food and water safety will help ensure that you have a good time and return home in good health.
Here are some important tips for eating and drinking in foreign nations:
Pay Attention to Food and Water.
When traveling, you must always be especially careful of the food you eat and the water you drink, as you cannot always be sure of their sources. One easy way to make decisions about whether or not to ingest food and drink is to apply the old adage "boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it."
"Boil it" refers to water. Boiled water is considered safe to drink, as the boiling process kills any organisms within the water. Water that has been purified but not boiled will usually, but not always, is safe.
"Cook it" refers to food. Food that has been cooked and is served hot is generally safe. Things that are not cooked, like salads, other raw vegetables, fresh berries and some fresh fruit, are unsafe to eat.
"Peel it" refers to fresh fruit that is served with its peel still on. If you peel fruit, like an orange or a banana, you can generally depend on it being safe to eat.
Consider the Ice Cubes.
When having beverages, including water, you should always know the source of the ice cubes. Some travelers go out of their way to drink only bottled water, but will then fill their glasses with ice cubes that have been made with unsafe water, like a hotel's tap water. Ice cubes, are a big source of illness.
Hot Water is not Always Safe.
It's also important to know that water from a sink hot water tap is no safer than that from the cold tap, as water heaters do not bring the water to a temperature that is sufficient to kill all organisms.
Be Safe While Brushing.
Also remember that water safety isn't just about drinking water. When brushing your teeth, always make sure the water is safe.