Wherever you travel, you’ll undoubtedly be enticed by the delicious smells, tastes and sights of street food. Whether exploring the Pasar Malam’s of Malaysia or the Stands de Comidas in Chile, eating al fresco when travelling is a great way to get a taste (pun intended) of the local culture.
Unfortunately, many travellers come down with the infamous ‘Delhi belly’ due to unsavoury conditions or simply foreign pathogens that their bodies aren’t accustomed to. Here are some tips for staying healthy without having to miss out on the mouth-watering dishes you’ll be coming across on your next trip!
Be Ready for Travellers Diarrhoea
Even when being as careful as possible with food, you can still pick up something that upsets your body. In case travellers diarrhoea does hit, it’s good to be prepared so you don’t to scramble for medicine in a foreign place. Our specially designed Worldwide Diarrhoea Kit contains antibiotics and medications to ease the symptoms of mild to severe diarrhoea. We can also vaccinate you against several food and waterborne diseases, so book a consultation before you travel.
Stay Stocked up on Sanitiser
It’s good practice to always carry hand sanitiser with you when travelling. This ensures your hands can be cleaned up ready to grab any tasty new treats you come across. Food stalls are often lacking or hand washing facilities so coming prepared with sanitiser is essential to keeping the germs at bay.
Pick Popular eateries
Only order from stalls that are busy and serving to local people. There are a few ways this can keep you safe from nasty germs. A busy seller will likely have a good reputation – punters aren’t going to go back to a food stall that has made them ill. Also, a stall that’s selling lots of food will be making new batches throughout the day meaning the food is likely fresh and has not been sitting around growing bacteria. The extra bonus of choosing a popular eatery is that you’re getting something you know is sought-after by the locals and bound to be delicious!
Hot and fresh out the kitchen!
Most pathogens won’t survive an encounter with a fryer, tandoor or wok but those little devils tend to hop on to things as soon as they cool to a nice comfy temperature. Make sure what you’re eating has been thoroughly cooked through, is hot and served instantly. This doesn’t give any nasties the time to colonise that deep-fried samosa before you tuck into it.
Be Allergy Aware
Allergies are a more of a ‘western thing’ unfortunately which can make it quite difficult to eat safely in far flung destinations. If you have an allergy to peanuts for example it’s probably a good idea to avoid street food entirely and eat only from places that you are 100% sure know your allergy and act accordingly. Make sure you have your auto adrenaline injectors with you at all times and let anyone you’re travelling with know that you have an allergy – in case somethig happends they’ll know whats wrong if you need treatment.
Fruit & Veg Aren’t Always Your Friend
It might seem like a safe choice to stick to eating fruit and salads but these foods can be the most dangerous. Cold food may have been washed with questionable water and doesn’t undergo sterilisation from cooking. If you’re eating fruit, ensure your hands are clean and that the fruit has an untouched, uncut skin such as a oranges or bananas. Fruit with thick skins is generally safe until the hawker chops it up with a knife that hasn’t been properly cleaned.
Meat, Fish & Seafood
A great way to lower your risk of getting sick while eating street food is to avoid animal products entirely. However, we know that grilled fishballs on a stick are irresistible! Be extra careful when thinking of indulging in a meaty snack. If you aren’t sure the products are fresh, have been stored porperly and prepared safely – don’t eat them. Seafood can be especially dangerous as even a thorough cooking won’t always destroy the bacteria that can make you sick.
Surfaces & Cutlery
Along with a hand sanitiser, it’s good to have some antibacterial wipes or a surface sanitiser to clean the areas you’ll be eating in. Casual outdoor stalls and restaurants don’t always provide disposable cutlery, so its good practice to give any shared utensils a good clean before using them or carry your own.