Thursday, March 3, 2011


I just took a look at the World Health Organization's "Guide on Safe Food for Travelers." I don't like it. Apparently it was adopted by China for the Beijing Olympics. No wonder several members of the US track team came down with food poisoning.

As you gather from several recent posts, travel has been on my mind lately (is it spring coming?) and I have certainly done enough of it in my life - mainly for international assignments. Anyway, here's my own guide, which I now always follow except in Europe and certain Asian cities:

• Eat only cooked food, except in the case of fruit which has been grown high on a tree and you can peel (such as bananas, mangos, oranges).
• As far as possible, avoid large catered affairs and buffets.
• Avoid street vendor food, and food sold by small roadside places or in markets, unless it is simple food, cooked in front of you (such as a roasted corn cob, roasted chestnuts).
• Only eat cheese or other dairy if you are certain it is pasteurized.
• Avoid shellfish, unless you are certain that it comes from safe waters and never eat fish or shellfish on a plane.
• Drink only bottled water and drinks, or hot coffee, tea, and avoid ice in anything you drink unless you are sure it is made from bottled water.

And, of course, always wash your hands before you touch food.



Anonymous said...

The only place in the world where I have eaten street stall food was Singapore. it was safe, delicious and cheap. I hope it still is.

Anonymous said...

Especially in Mexico. Montezuma's revenge has felled many a tourist who regretted those pina coladas. Strange to say, but one of the safest drinks abroad is coke. It also can help settle the stomach.