Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Eat Wisely During a Trip

Food poisoning is one of the top vacation "ruiners". There are loads of attractive food to eat when we travel domestically or overseas, however some countries don't require as much regulation to restaurants as the US.
Poorly washed raw fruits and vegetables as well as undercooked meats can carry a host of pathogens, such as E. coli and salmonella. The National Geographic provided a good list of tips to eat wisely:
  • Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics: www.tufts.edu
  • Stick to cooked foods served hot to your table; only eat street-vendor food prepared in front of you. Avoid salads, uncooked vegetables, undercooked meats and unpasteurized dairy. Wash fruits with boiled, bottled or filtered water and remove peels.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar meats. "Anytime that you are served something you can't identify, ask questions, and in all cases stay away from eating primates," suggests Natalie Bailey, assistant director of the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force.
  • Where sanitation is iffy, rely on bottled water or canned beverages, or disinfect by boiling for up to three minutes, filtering or treating with chlorine or iodine pills. Look for water carrying the International Bottled Water Association seal, and be cautious of bottles that may have been opened and re-sealed. When showering, keep water out of your mouth, nose and open wounds.
  • Bring portable water purifiers that treat for bacteria, protozoa and viruses, such as General Ecology's First Need XL Water Purifier or HydroPhoton's ultraviolet Steri-Pen Adventurer purifiers, both available at REI ($100-$140; http://www.rei.com/, 800-426-4840).