Protect your stomach, too many Irish holidays cut short
TIME AND TIME AGAIN Irish tourists return from their travels having spent at least 24 hours of their holiday confined to their sick bed following a nasty bout of food poisoning.
While travellers take extra precautions with their vaccinations and with sun protection, they often leave their stomachs at risk by not following simple guidelines on how to reduce the chances of becoming ill and ruining your holiday.
The Tropical Medical Bureau which operates clinics nationwide has compiled a list of guidelines and tips on how to eat sensibly while abroad which are easy to follow and above all, common sense.
Where food is concerned it is advised that only freshly cooked and piping hot is consumed.
This reduces the risk of contamination and helps to protect the stomach.
Cold foods including salads and cold meats are susceptible to bacteria, viruses and parasites which can cause sickness.
Lettuce and undercooked shellfish including mussels and oysters are two of the highest risks and are best avoided.
If harvested from contaminated waters mildly steamed seafood will not be cooked to a high enough temperature to eradicate bacteria
Experts at the Tropical Medical Bureau advise travellers to pay attention to the general hygiene in restaurants and bars including toilet facilities and if they are substandard avoid eating there.
Ordering rare cooked meat is not advised and there should be no sign of any blood.
Health problems such as tape worms can stem from this which is a commonly treated post-holiday condition.
If sending back a piece of meat cut a piece off the corner to ensure the same dish is returned to you.
It is never wise to take any chances with water consumption and only well sealed bottled water should be consumed in regions where tap water is untreated.
In this case avoid ice in drinks which will most likely have been frozen from tap water and use bottled water for teeth cleaning. TMB Checklist: Eat freshly cooked fresh food Avoid bivalve shellfish such as mussels, oysters and clams. Eat fruit you can peel yourself Check out the restaurant and choose a busy one with lots of people Avoid 'rare' or under cooked meat Smell water for chlorine Drink sealed bottled water If the water is untreated don't use it to brush your teeth Avoid ice in your drinks Don't sing in the shower! Beware of those tempting roadside stalls â– â– â– â– â– â– â– â– â– â– â–