Traveling is one of the most rewarding and entertaining activities that an individual can undertake. Exploring new cultures, meeting new people and seeing foreign sights make for wonderful memories. But, there is one danger that can potentially ruin your trip and those memories: food poisoning.
If you’re in a new place and eating or cooking cuisines that are new to you, it helps to follow specific hygiene rules and use care when it comes to food to ensure that you aren’t sidelined by a nasty bug.
The symptoms of food poisoning vary, depending on the severity and the cause. Two of the most popular causes of food poisoning are campylobacter and salmonella. If you develop any of the symptoms listed below, seek medical treatment.
Campylobacter, a bacteria, causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and fever. Salmonella is also a bacterial infection. It can cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever and stomach pains, much like campylobacter infection.
As you travel, for your own health, it’s important to know for sure that all of your food has been prepared properly, whether you’re cooking for yourself or have someone else cooking for you.
If you are doing all of the cooking, be sure that your foods have been prepared and cooked in a safe manner. Meat that’s not fully cooked can lead to salmonella contamination.
Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated if the water they are rinsed in is contaminated with animal or human fecal matter.
Seafoods, like oysters and shellfish can contain high levels of Vibrio bacteria and norovirus, which is present in human fecal matter that may have been dumped into the waterways.
Foods can be contaminated during the cooking process, or even afterwards. Foods that have been slightly contaminated can be problematic if they are left at room temperature because the contamination can grow.
Avoid food from street vendors. In general, they cook their food in the open air and it’s easier to rely on the way food looks to determine if it’s ready to serve to customers. Also, not all of these individuals have food handling permits, which means they’re not regulated by health departments.
Choose food that you know is hot and completely cooked, or something that can be peeled. You have less chance of food poisoning with foods that can be peeled, like bananas, oranges and tangerines, because the peel keeps bacteria away.
Choose restaurants where there are lots of people, because these places are regulated by health departments and tend to have higher standards than street vendors. Also, get recommendations from people you trust.
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