Foods That are Best to Avoid When Traveling Abroad

Foods That are Best to Avoid When Traveling Abroad

If you’re planning to travel out of the country, you’re likely looking forward to trying different foreign foods from local cuisines. However, there are certain food choices that are usually best to avoid during a trip overseas. Here are some top foods to avoid when traveling abroad.

Raw Vegetables

Vegetables that are uncooked don’t always go through the same rigorous quality and safety checks in some countries. Eating raw vegetables while abroad could increase your risk of getting E. coli and other foodborne illnesses. If you choose to eat any raw vegetables, it’s advisable that you get packaged salads or other items that haven’t been exposed to water.

Bananas

The edible parts of bananas are usually protected by their peels, but you should still be leery of eating this fruit when traveling abroad. Even with the added protection, bananas can still become infested with parasites that may be more prevalent in other parts of the world. Bananas and leaky gut can also sometimes go hand in hand, and you may experience additional gastrointestinal problems that can take away from the fun of your trip.

Street Food

Street food, which is usually sold from vendor carts or kiosks along the streets within a given city, town or village, is especially popular in certain parts of the world. As tempted as you might be to get some street food so that you can try some local cuisine while saving money over dining at a restaurant, you should think twice about it. 

Some of these vendors may not practice proper hygiene and other food handling methods, and you could get struck with food poisoning or other serious health problems from eating street food. If you still want to try some street food, it’s best to buy from a cart or kiosk that looks clean and well-kempt.

Unpasteurized Dairy Products

Even though most dairy foods in developed countries are pasteurized, this isn’t always the case in some countries. E. coli, listeria and salmonella are among the potential contaminants that are found in some unpasteurized dairy products. Unpasteurized dairy products can be especially problematic for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods aren’t always dangerous, but eating them on an international trip could bring about gastrointestinal discomfort that causes an embarrassing situation. Some foreign cuisines are made with especially hot spices that your stomach isn’t used to and can’t handle properly. The effects of some spicy foods can also cause severe indigestion and result in sleeping difficulties. If you insist on eating spicy foods, it’s best to bring along plenty of antacids and other digestive health medicine.

Tap Water

While tap water is classified as a beverage rather than a food, you should still avoid drinking it while out of the country. This is especially true in developing countries where the water might be contaminated with harmful germs and bacteria that could pose serious health risks. Buying bottled water is always your safest bet when traveling abroad. It’s also advisable to avoid using ice that’s made with tap water in your drinks.

Condiments and Sauces

Ketchup, hot sauce and other condiments and sauces aren’t always prepared and handled in the safest ways in some countries. Some of these sauces and condiments may have been allowed to sit out longer and spoil because of the lax food safety regulations in certain parts of the world. Certain sauces and condiments may have also been made with unhealthy tap water that’s prevalent in the region.

Knowing the specific foods to avoid when traveling abroad can make your trip a safer, more enjoyable experience. You might even save yourself a trip to a foreign emergency room by steering clear of certain foods.

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