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Travel healthily. Can I eat this?

  1. Eating exotic delicacies abroad is part of the holiday fun. One drawback: the risk of an intestinal infection, stomach pain or diarrhea increases. The good news is that much of this misery is preventable.

  1. When traveling abroad, many people suffer from intestinal problems, an estimated 30 to 50 percent of the holidaymakers. The cause is usually infection with bacteria and sometimes viruses or parasites. Especially in (sub) tropical countries it often hits the mark, because bacteria and viruses thrive in the heat. Moreover, the hygienic conditions in these countries are less good than what we are used to in Western society. Most people only get diarrhea and stomach cramps. Sometimes nausea and vomiting are involved. Very annoying, but luckily it usually ends after a few days.

Risk: raw fruit and vegetables

  1. A raw vegetable salad or tropical fresh fruit: it is very tasty. But it is precisely on raw and unheated foods that bacteria have free rein. Regrettably, it is better not to eat it when the salads or fruit are for sale. On a cheap all-inclusive vacation in a warm country, you might want to skip the salad buffet. Peel your fruit and raw vegetables yourself and wash them with bottled water, of course you can eat it.

  2. A raw vegetable salad or tropical fresh fruit: it is very tasty. But it is precisely on raw and unheated foods that bacteria have free rein. However a pity, it is better not to eat it when the salads or fruit are for sale. On a cheap all-inclusive vacation in a warm country, you might want to skip the salad buffet. Peel your fruit and raw vegetables yourself and wash them with bottled water, of course you can eat it.

Risk: water

  1. In the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore you can drink water from the tap, but the taste can sometimes be a bit salty than you are used to, or you can taste a chlorine taste. Tap water is not safe in Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary) and the Balkans (Greece, Romania and Bulgaria). In Turkey, Asia, Africa and South America it is also better not to drink the water from the tap. Don't use ice cubes in drinks there either. After all, they are made from tap water. And make sure that the bottled water you order is only opened at the table. Also use bottled water in the bathroom for brushing your teeth or taking medicines.

  2. In the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore you can drink water from the tap, but the taste can sometimes be a bit salty than you are used to, or you can taste a chlorine taste. Tap water is not safe in Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary) and the Balkans (Greece, Romania and Bulgaria). In Turkey, Asia, Africa and South America it is also better not to drink the water from the tap. Also don't use ice cubes in drinks there. After all, they are made from tap water. And make sure that the bottled water you order is only opened at the table. Also use bottled water in the bathroom for brushing your teeth or taking medicines.

Risk: ice creams

  1. Eating ice cream in warm and tropical countries is often not a good idea. And that certainly applies to unpackaged ice cream from display cases or carts. The basis is milk or cream, which is a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria, especially if the ice is not kept cold enough. So rather buy prepackaged ice cream. And if you want to buy an ice cream in Italy, the iceland par excellence, for example, then rather join the queue of a busy ice cream parlor. That is safer than buying ice cream from that nice cart that has been standing in a sunny square for hours.

Risk: meat, fish and shellfish

  1. Bacteria love protein foods. So they like to settle on meat, fish, crustaceans and shellfish. The magic word is done! Lukewarm or raw food and semi-cooked steak are really out of the question in a warm or tropical country. Only in countries like Japan, where hygiene is very important, can you eat sushi or sashimi (raw fish). But only do that at eateries where you see many, preferably local, customers. Are you at the campsite and does the barbecue switch on? Heat the meat thoroughly, do not leave the raw meat next to the barbecue and use different tongs, different plates and different cutlery for the raw meat.

  2. Bacteria love protein foods. So they like to settle on meat, fish, crustaceans and shellfish. The magic word is done! Lukewarm or raw food and semi-cooked steak are really out of the question in a warm or tropical country. Only in countries like Japan, where hygiene is very important, can you eat sushi or sashimi (raw fish). But only do that at eateries where you see many, preferably also local, customers. Are you at the campsite and does the barbecue switch on? Heat the meat thoroughly, do not leave the raw meat next to the barbecue and use different tongs, different plates and different cutlery for the raw meat.

Risk: street food

  1. You probably don't want to miss the delicious and authentic food in Thailand, Turkey or Malaysia. It would be a shame if you - for fear of infection - limit yourself to restaurants with a tourist menu. And even that is no guarantee; You can get sick in the most expensive restaurants and hotels. If you eat on the street, pay attention to how busy it is around the food stand. If there are several local customers, that's a good sign.

  2. You probably don't want to miss the delicious and authentic food in Thailand, Turkey or Malaysia. It would be a shame to limit yourself to restaurants with a tourist menu, for fear of infection. And even that is no guarantee; You can get sick in the most expensive restaurants and hotels. If you eat on the street, pay attention to how busy it is around the food stand. If there are several local customers, that's a good sign.

Sick! And then?

  1. The good news: the diarrhea usually clears up on its own in a few days. Take it easy, stay near a toilet, and drink a lot. Do not forget to take salt, especially if you are staying in a warm environment. Drink broth or eat some salty crackers or chips. You can take ORS with you in the travel pharmacy, which is a mixture of sugars and salts. It ensures that moisture is quickly absorbed into the body. A stopping medicine is sometimes a solution (for example when traveling by air), but it is actually not recommended. Diarrhea has a function: the pathogenic bacteria have to leave the body. If the diarrhea lasts for more than a few days, if you have a fever, or if you find yourself getting drowsy: see a doctor. If you have travel companions, it may be wise that they use a different toilet (if possible) to prevent contamination. In any case, do not use shared towels and crockery and wash your hands well with hot water and soap after every visit to the toilet. If the complaints persist after the holiday, visit the doctor. For example, you can suffer from a parasite.

Scary food

  1. Bull balls, guinea pig, crocodile, brains and grasshoppers. On vacation you can come across the craziest things on the menu. Even though the idea may scare you, it is not 'dangerous food'. Only eat these dishes when they are well cooked and hot and when they are served in a busy restaurant. There are dishes that are really dangerous. The Japanese fugu or puffer fish, for example, because this fish contains a poison in the organs that is 1250 times stronger than cyanide. Only eat it if you know that the cook is very experienced in the preparation. Top 10 Countries Most Likely to Get Traveler's Diarrhea Egypt India Thailand Pakistan Morocco Kenya Tunisia Caribbean Mexico Malta



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