Top tips to avoid food poisoning
THOUGH it's the last thing travelers want to think of when planning a vacation, food poisoning is an unpleasant possibility that cannot be ignored, especially during international trips.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50,000 cases of fish-related food poisoning during travel occur each year - and that's only one food group.
However, with planning and a careful eye, you should be able to enjoy your next trip abroad without the nasty after effects of bad food.
TO BOOST your immune system during the weeks before your planned travel, get lots of exercise and sleep, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Also, take a probiotic dietary supplement during this time to help coat your stomach with bacterial cultures that aid digestion and fight the socalled bad bacteria you may encounter during your trip. You can also find healthy bacteria in foods such as yogurt and soy products.
KEEP a close eye on what you drink during your travels. You can stay stay hydrated and eliminate the risks of local water supplies by drinking bottled or sterilized water.
Always make sure a water bottle's seal is intact before drinking from it; some restaurants and vendors refill empty water bottles, using unfiltered local water. Also, ask if your hotel offers filtered water.
It's equally important to avoid ice, unless you are certain it was made from sterilized water, as well as fruits and vegetables, which may have been washed with local water.
BE CAREFUL about what foods you eat while traveling, and pay attention to how the food was cooked and stored. Opt for completely cooked fare that's freshly made, as opposed to dishes that are warmed up or left sitting out.
Avoid buying ice cream from unknown sellers, such as street-side vendors whose products aren't always properly chilled. Unless you can peel or shell a food item, avoid uncooked foods. Choose fish and shellfish carefully. Uncooked seafood is a leading culprit in food poisonings during international travel.
TAKE IT easy when sampling new cuisines that are foreign to your digestive system. This means eating smaller amounts of local foods at first, then upping the quantity during subsequent meals and snacks if all goes well. Your body needs time to adjust to new foods and cooking methods.