When we travel outside of our country, many of us do not consider that the food and water may not be safe to consume. When you are in non-industrialized areas, the food and water is not subject to the same checks and balances that we enjoy in our own countries. Food may be full of potential hazards and water can give us literally thousands of different medical problems. If you are living or visiting a place where food and water is potentially unsafe, then knowing some simple tips can help you to stay healthy. Here are some tips to remember:
Do Not Use Ice
While this seems benign on the surface, ice is nothing more than frozen water. Water can be contaminated and the same potential dangers found in liquid form can be found in frozen water. Leave out the ice when you ask for a drink, and stick to liquids that can be consumed without it.
Avoid Fruit Juices
Again, you are risking potential contamination through improper harvesting and cleaning of fruit. Simply pass on the fruit juices as though they were water based because they often are.
Drink Only Bottled Drinks
Bottled drinks that have a secured top are the best choice. This can include soft drinks, bottled water, fruit juices that are bottled and similar types of drinks. If the bottle top is not fully sealed, then take a pass. Many places do not think twice about refilling empty bottles, and you do not know where that liquid came from. Use common sense, and only drink from bottled sources that are properly sealed (just as you would in your own country).
If you are forced to drink from water sources that are not controlled such as a stream or local water source, then you must absolutely bring it to a boil before drinking it. Boiled water is not always completely safe, but it certainly increases your chances of avoiding contamination. Boil the water and then cool it to drink.
Avoid Raw Foods
Raw foods such as fruits and vegetables can be contaminated very easily if they are grown with water that is contaminated. If the vegetables are not washed with clean water, you also risk contamination.
Make Sure All Meats Are Well Done
Do not eat any meats that are not well done, simply because there is the chance that the meat was not cooked well enough to kill contaminates. Meat is one of the more dangerous things to eat in a restaurant because of this problem. Make sure they are well done, and if you notice any smell that seems odd, then avoid the meat. Certainly one should not depend solely upon their nose to determine a meat’s safety.
Remember the Unusual Contamination Risks
Water enters your mouth a number of ways, and the littlest bit can make you sick if contaminated. Remember to avoid brushing your teeth with anything other than bottled or boiled water, and always be careful about where you swim. You may not intend to ingest that water while you bathe, but it can certainly happen.