How to Watch for Food Safety When Traveling Overseas

When anticipating an overseas vacation, what to eat is certainly a quandary to explore. Anyone who makes it back home equipped with tales of food poisoning will attest as to how much fun it can take away from a longed for…and saved for…break. So, planning ahead and being prepared for nutritional needs versus nutritional adventures are just as much part of enjoying this holiday as mapping out sightseeing excursions.

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Be Healthy…Keep Happy

As you prepare for your vacation, one thing to keep in mind is to maintain your exercise and healthy eating habits several weeks prior. If you and/or your friends want to have a send-off, please consume in moderation. You will be glad you did! And, by all means get plenty of sleep in the weeks ahead of your travels. All of these contribute to bolstering your immune system in preparation for a probable onslaught of foreign bodies.

Stay Hydrated…Safely

Some of the following will appear common sense strategies, but may not register on your radar while the excitement of anticipation is more prevalent. For example, you are in great shape physically and now you embark on your adventure. Certainly everyone is aware that not all water is the same, but do you know even the common ice cube can cause unwanted trips to the loo. So, though it is extremely important to remain hydrated, remember to have easy access to safe water, either bottled or maybe using a portable filtration device if you plan to be away for a fairly extended period of time. If you purchase bottled water, always check the seal around the cap since open/free refills are not uncommon in certain areas. And, while on the subject of water, get in the habit of washing your hands and drying them thoroughly throughout your waking hours.

Small Safe Meals on Schedule

It is imperative to eat at regular intervals, as well. Your body will already be on a much different schedule, and keeping it nourished with small safe meals is imperative. You would do well to remember these points: only eat fruits you can peel; consume thoroughly cooked, fresh meats (fried, boiled, or steamed) served hot; avoid unpasteurized dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, canned milk is usually ok; and, to be doubly safe, avoid all seafood. In addition, if you must have a drink besides water, there are two things to think of, drink soft drinks from a properly sealed can with no ice, and know that just because it is alcoholic doesn’t make it bacteria free.

Reputable Restaurants versus Self-prepared

When eating at restaurants, be sure to consume food at popular, busy places. It is well worth a few pennies more to eat at apparently reputable diners, cafes, and bistros. Even though you are eating at popular places, it would be wise to take your own silverware, or maybe disposable plastic utensils. And of course it goes without saying, I hope, choose foods you recognize and preferably that you can pronounce. Foods that you prepare yourself are usually risk free, but do check to make sure the brands you buy are some you recognize and are sealed cans or packages. Open markets are fun to experience, but you need to save buying food there for personal consumption for the natives. Since you will no doubt sacrifice ingesting your needed vitamins for a time, take a recommended daily supplement to bolster your good health while you are away.

Ask the Travel Agent

One thing to do as you prepare for your vacation is to ask your travel agent for tips on the untainted, available foods in your area. They will usually recommend, among any specifics, to use common sense, and when in doubt, don’t eat it. You actually do not have to eat as much strange food as possible, regardless of some of the foodies on television paid to do so.

Just as with any other adventure, plan ahead. Take these tips; weigh them against those of professional travelers, and any research you conduct on your own for a more pleasant trip. And then have the vacation of a lifetime…memories that do not include food poisoning!

Jared Grant writes for Jared travels around the globe with his wife Jenny. They are currently in Ecuador learning Quechua.

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