When Abroad, Skip These


Original Image by eyeliam via Flickr
Original Image by eyeliam via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

When  traveling abroad or trying to acclimate to new cultures, it’s not only gracious to try local cuisine, but expected.  I personally don’t see the point in those long plane rides to eat the same foods I could get back home.  However, while being open minded can help increase your taste palette and exposure, there are certain foods you should refrain from eating if you’re traveling outside of the U.S.

You may be wondering why the locals are more than willing to eat unwashed foods or don’t see sanitation to be as big of an issue, however, living where we do, Americans have not grown immune against all exotic bacteria and it’s not worth learning the hard way if you’re immuned to a certain bacteria or not.  On top of that, with the added stress of traveling on an irregular schedule, one is more susceptible to adverse effects if not diligent about what he or she eats.

Examples Quick Notes
Shellfish If uncooked—i.e. raw oysters or mussels
  • Bacteria it’s picked up can easily be transferred to consumer
  • Oysters can destroy your liver
  • Get a tapeworm from eating contaminated raw meat
Game i.e. venison, grouse
  • Most reliable source for wild game: D’Artagnan Foods—improts inspected foods (i.e. pheasant, redlegged partridge or wood pigeon)
Produce Avoid unwashed, uncooked vegetables and fruits
  • Eating such can cause one to be sick with salmonella, cyclospora or campylobacter
  • Suggested to cook or boil fruits and vegetables
  • Be aware of raw fruit in desserts
Pork
  • Only eat pork that’s been thoroughly cooked through to 160°F
Eggs i.e. Caesar salads, steak tartar with raw egg, raw steak
  • ½ of egg related illnesses are picked up in restaurants
  • the problem: chicken that lays the egg, not shell
Water
  • crucial to drink bottled water in developing nations, especially as more often than not the tap water’s contaminated
  • Use bottled water to brush your teeth!
  • Less likely to have to worry about contaminated water in London, Paris or Tokyo
Spit i.e. cassava root is chewed by tribeswomen and the juice is spat into bowl that’s left to ferment alcohol
  • Although it’s considered an honor to drink chichi, which is produced usually with spit, may make you very sick

So, remember, even foods that look like what you’d eat “back home”, there’s no guarantee.  Traveling should be an enjoyable experience and with a little caution can be bacteria free.

Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/7-things-never-eat-drink-while-traveling-150700926.html

http://paul.cechner.com/index.php/2006/10/03/the_price_of_eating_abroad_rant

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