Foods to Avoid While Traveling Abroad

Some people travel to eat — from foodies who prefer to go to the finest restaurants to the pure adventurous who’s willing to try every known street food in the country or city they visit. However, you don’t have to be either of these two to care about which food are good for eating and which are not. You still need to pay extra attention to the food that you eat, especially in places where it is very likely for various contaminants to thrive.

The best way to keep yourself safe from diseases caused by contaminated food is to be aware of the different types of food that you need to avoid. Food awareness can surely save you from serious health threats during your next trip abroad. Hepatitis A, Typhoid and other diseases which are contracted by direct ingestion can be easily avoided if you keep an eye on the things you put into your mouth. Here are some food items you might need to pass over the next time you hit the road:

1. Fresh and leafy greens

Fresh and leafy greens
By fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au, CC BY-NC 3.0

When it comes to its nutrition value, green and leafy vegetables that are eaten raw tops the charts! Green and leafy vegetables tossed into a healthy salad may not turn out healthy if it is washed using contaminated tap water. Since you can never ascertain the quality of the water used in washing these food items, it is better for you to simply avoid them. But if greens are really your thing, at least try to order them in reputable food establishments that are most likely observing high standards when it comes to food preparation. Table cloths, the utensils and the condition of the menu tell you a lot about the hygienic practices of the food establishment. Stained table cloths, greasy utensils and tattered menus are clear red lights telling you to back off!

2.  Fruits and vegetables without rind

Fruits and vegetables without rind
By Ambernectar 13, CC BY-ND 2.0

As much as possible, avoid fruits and vegetables that do not require peeling. Again, when it comes to food awareness and avoiding diseases spread by contaminated food, you still need to look beyond the actual health benefits of the food item. Fresh produce are easily contaminated by germs and bacteria when they are poorly handled.  Opt for banana, pineapple or oranges because their rind can protect them from various food contaminants.

3. Unpasteurized milk, cheese and yogurt

Unpasteurized milk, cheese and yogurt
Schwäbin (Wikimedia),  [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de], via Wikimedia Commons
Unpasteurized milk and other dairy products made from raw milk are easily contaminated by bacteria when not handled very carefully. If you find these food items sold in portable carts and stalls, the wise thing to do is to simply avoid them. Save your cravings when you get home.

4. Street ice cream or Popsicle

Street ice cream or Popsicle
Mackbeth24 at en.wikipediaCC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Buying Popsicle, ice cream on stick and other coolers from street sellers is downright dangerous for your health. These food items are quite popular in tropical countries because of their climate. However, because of the heat, it is also possible that these products might have already melted and then refrozen. In that case, the food might have already been contaminated by bacteria which can cause diarrhea and food poisoning.

About the author

Michael Jones

Created and runs the Holiday Point travel brand, incorporating a network of 9 location based travel information and attraction websites around Australia. With 15 years of online experience, Michael not only writes content for the website and is the face of social media, he also tinkers behind the scenes with the website functionality & design.

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