1. Wash your hands properly!
Before you eat, after going to the toilet wash your hands. The important thing is to make sure you wash them properly so you don’t contaminate your own food. Wet your hands, lather with soap and scrub your hands for 20 seconds. Rinse off and dry thoroughly using a paper towel or hand dryer. Carry a little bottle of hand sanitiser so you can get your hands clean even when you cant get to a sink & soap.
2. Stay clear of tap water
It’s so easy to forget that the tap water in many countries is unsafe to drink, especially when rinsing your toothbrush under the tap. Make sure you keep a bottle of water by the sink and invest in an AquaPure bottle, fill it up from the tap and drink safe water straight away!
3. Dirty money
We handle money all the time when travelling, Bank notes and coins are often dirty and heavily contaminated with bacteria that cause diarrhoea. Always remember to use a hand sanitizer after dipping into your purse or wallet.
4. Say No to ice in drinks
In some places ice is made using contaminated tap water. Bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhoea are happily locked in the ice ready to melt into your drink. Always ask for no ice when ordering a cold drink and stick with bottles or cans.
5. Where and what to eat
Sampling the local cuisines is such a fun part of the travel experience! Use your common sense when choosing what to eat. Try to eat where food is cooked to order. Avoid shellfish and seafood dishes at all cost. Oysters and mussels are easily contaminated by dirty seawater that can cause serious infections. Choose food that is well cooked and have a phrase book to hand so that you can translate the menu if you are unsure what food you are ordering.
6. Be smart with street food
Check out how clean the stalls are. Check for flies, look to see if the vendor is wearing gloves or handling food with bare hands. How are utensils being cleaned? Is raw meat being kept covered? Be smart, try to eat at the same time as the locals when lots of food is being served hot. Choose stalls with the longest queues with lots of locals and their families It’s a good bet that food stall is the safest.
7. Preparing your own food
When preparing and handling food you must take extra care not to contaminate it. Avoid salads as they are difficult to clean properly. Make sure your hands are thoroughly washed and utensils are clean. Boil your water for 3 minutes and wash foods with clean water. Avoid cross contaminated by keeping prepared food on separate plates/bowls.
8. Beware of the All-inclusive Buffet
Just because it’s a quality clean hotel doesn’t mean that food standards are the same. Watch out for flies and food that has been left out in the warm sunshine. You won’t know how the food has been stored so choosing food that is covered and piping hot is your safest bet.
9.Take care with dairy products
Always avoid unpasteurised milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream. Raw and undercooked eggs which can also be found in sauces and mayonnaise. These foods are high for bacteria causing diarrhoea. Always check food labels for pasteurisation if possible. Leave the milk out of your tea and coffee if you are unsure whether the milk is safe.
10. Fruit and Vegetables
The safest fruit to eat are those that can be peeled, think bananas mangos and oranges.
Fruit that needs washing with water carry the greatest risk of causing diarrhoea so avoid fruit such as grapes, berries and apples.
Raw vegetables and salad must be cooked. In many countries human faeces is used as fertilizer. Poor cleaning of vegetables and salads makes them a hazard to eat raw. Watch out for salad in sandwiches.