Follow our top 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling
Travelling can be a relaxing, exhilarating and delightful experience, but this is only possible if you maintain your health. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are the most common and unwanted companions on any trip. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, keeping healthy and avoiding illnesses is vital for a successful journey. We share our top 5 ways to prevent food poisoning while travelling.
Avoid uncooked food
One of the most important ways to prevent food poisoning is to avoid eating uncooked foods. Hot temperatures kill bacteria in food that cause digestive illnesses. Cool or lukewarm temperatures support the growth of germs, so try to avoid foods such as fruit and uncooked veg as much as possible. When deciding on food to eat, look for items that are steaming hot to ensure they are fresh and bacteria free.
Always make sure to bring bottled water everywhere you go on your travels. You cannot be sure whether the water is contaminated or not so don’t take any chances. It may seem a bit OTT but checking that the bottle seal is intact is important. Bottled beverages, particularity water can sometimes be refilled with unclean sources. When in serious doubt, you can go for sparkling water or fizzy drinks since they will be noticeably carbonated.
Use the bottled water for brushing your teeth and make sure to keep your mouth closed when showering.
While people usually remember to avoid tap water, it is often forgotten to avoid ice. If you are not careful, that refreshing drink may have the water you are trying so hard to avoid. Always ask the server whether the ice is made from filtered water or tapped water.
Eat where it is busy and where locals are dining
To truly experience a country, one will always want to sample the local food. The native people can be quite helpful in finding restaurants that serve good healthy food. Look to see where the locals are going or ask them to suggest restaurants or a market place to eat. A restaurant that is serving local people and is well-visited typically results in a higher turnover of food which means fresh food. Eating where the locals dine is one of the easiest ways to prevent food poisoning.
Be cautious of dairy
While dairy can be delicious and healthy, it also goes off easily which can cause illness. One of the ways to avoid food poisoning is by being a bit more cautious when consuming dairy, especially in developing regions. Cooked, hot milk is okay, so if you do want milk in your tea or coffee make sure it is boiled.
We all love an ice cream, especially in the summer months, but re- frozen ice-cream can make someone very ill. Check the shape, especially on packaged ice creams, to see if it looks to have melted and then been re-frozen.
Food poisoning treatment
If you happen to suffer from food poisoning while travelling, fear not! For most people, the illness resolves without treatment within 24 hours, though some types of food poisoning can last longer. Food poisoning can leave you feeling weak and exhausted. It is extremely important to rest and replace lost fluids. When you are feeling better gradually begin to eat bland, low-fat, easy-to-digest foods, such as toast, plain pasta, crackers and rice. Stop eating if your nausea returns.
To avoid illness overseas, travellers are strongly advised to book an appointment at one of the many TMB clinics and find out about the vaccinations they may require.