“People will travel anywhere for good food- it’s crazy”, Rene Redzepi says. We all have to admit this, that the best part about traveling anywhere has to be food. However, we should not get too excited as it might turn into your worst nightmare! Why? Well, some foods might keep you in your hotel room bathroom for the rest of your vacation. Moreover, you would not want to spend the rest of your trip with the traveler’s diarrhea or other digestive ailments. So here we have brought you the list of foods and drinks as well, that you MUST avoid while traveling.
Raw Meat and Seafood
Consuming raw meat can be harmful to your gut as well as your overall health as you travel abroad. Not only while traveling abroad, but uncooked or undercooked meat can make you sick even in developed countries such as the United States. These meat as well as seafood are more likely to contain germs and bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Apart from consuming raw meat and seafood, one more thing that you must avoid is shellfish. Especially if you have not eaten anything from the crustacean group like shrimp, lobster, and crab. Moreover, considered as the bottom feeders, shellfish carry more bacteria than any other seafood. And you might not want to discover your shellfish allergy while traveling!
Apart from these, you must also avoid bushmeats. The local delicacies, which you get on stalls in the food market like, bats, rodents, or monkeys. These animals carry life-threatening diseases like Ebola or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). So ask before you consume and say no to these while traveling.
Berries and Fruits
Well, now you must think, why not fruits? Well, you can consume fruits and berries but you need to be cautious about it. According to the rule of thumb, you have to peel off the protective layer of any fresh produce. As we know that in the less-developed countries, the local water is not quite hygienic. Therefore, the fruits and berries that are washed in them might be contaminated and make you sick. Likewise, berries and fruits like apples, strawberries, blueberry, etcetera must be avoided. Whereas fruits like banana, oranges, pineapple, and watermelon, which you consume after peeling off the protective skin, are safe for consumption.
Raw Vegetables and Salads
One thing that you must take care of while eating anything, anywhere, is that do not eat if it is raw. Now you might think why salads and veggies, do not keep your stomach light and healthy with all the fibers? Well, yes they do, but, it might not be a safe choice while you travel. Especially if you buy pre-cut veggies from the supermarket, beware that it has already been washed with the local water. And since the vegetables grow in the ground, they may contain germs and bacteria that would not want to mess with while traveling.
Unpasteurized Dairy Products and Cheese
We all know that food regulations vary from country to country. And also, dairy products contain various bacteria. While traveling to developing or under-developed countries, you must take special care while consuming dairy products. Like in India, people often use fresh milk which they boil before using at homes. But some restaurants or food stalls might omit this process. Therefore, always go for the packed and pasteurized dairy products such as milk or yogurt. Whereas, the same goes for the cheese also. Always go for the packed and from a renowned brand, when you travel. The cheese left out in the deli cases might not go well with your stomach.
Fountain Drinks and Tap Water
Countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Mexico, Ghana, China, Russia, and all of the South American continent have the worst drinking water in the world. Therefore, while traveling you must stick to bottled water at all times. Moreover, you must also avoid having ice in your drinks. As they freeze the ice from local tap water, which again can upset your tummy. Apart from this, you should also avoid soda unless and until it is canned or bottled. Having soda from the fountain machine, in which the restaurants use local tap water, might just make you sick.
Therefore, no matter how much you tempt to try out the local dishes, always make sure that they are well cooked, hot, and steamy. Avoid eating street foods and at restaurants that might not have many people in them. Moreover, you might also want to avoid sauces and condiments, or simply ask what the ingredients it has. Sauces like mayonnaise, salsa, or other chutney might contain raw or less cooked ingredients which set off a red flag. You can always go for the packed ones. Therefore, keep these things in check while traveling because a traveler’s tummy would be the last thing you wanna experience while on a vacation!