Planning your first big trip? Advice and humor to get you through the process.
Food Safety in Developing Countries
Street vendors sell food for as little as $1 a meal. Should you eat it?
There is one thing that international travelers fear more than plane crashes, pickpockets, or bathrooms without toilet paper and that's food poisoning. Though the legal advisors at RossTravels.com prevent us from issuing health advice, here is our policy when visiting developing countries: We eat anything and everything, particularly from street vendors.
But we apply a little common sense and: - Generally stick to soups, curries, and other items that our served very hot. - Wipe down silverware and chop sticks with a napkin before using them. - Let silverware and chop sticks steep in hot soup or curry before using them. - Go to places crowded with other diners. Remember in many countries, particularly in South East Asia, most city dwellers cannot afford apartments with kitchens. That means locals eat most of their meals out. - Drink only beer or bottled beverages and avoid ice. - Wipe the mouth of a newly opened can or bottle before drinking from it. - Don't get too obsessive. On a recent trip to Vietnam, we ate the following foods from street vendors and lived to write about them: warm rice balls wrapped in newspaper; white pastries filled with meatballs and turnips; and cold cheese sandwiches served 10 feet from a men's urinal. - What should you do if you do get sick? more