CulturallyOurs Street Food Safety And Health

How To Enjoy Street Food Without Getting Sick

03.20.21
CulturallyOurs Street Food Safety And Health

There is a reason why most travelers love exploring and eating street food with local vendors in the places that they visit. Street-food dining is a deliciously informal and a very social affair – even if you don’t know anyone around. There is no need to dress up and sharing tables with strangers or even other travelers and locals is typically common.

But one of the most common fears about dining out in a place you are not familiar with or perhaps don’t know the local language is the fear of eating something that perhaps doesn’t agree with you or something you don’t really like. Food poisoning is also a fear that is high on the list of travelers to places very different from their home country. But in reality food poisoning can happen anywhere, even in the fanciest of restaurants close to home. CulturallyOurs Street Food Safety And HealthSo here are some easy, tried and tested tips from travelers to ensure a pleasant and safe experience dining out and enjoying street food.

#1 Research common street foods and local favorites

Make sure to research food culture and common cuisine favorites that are local to the place you are traveling to even before you go. That way you know what some of the common and favorites dishes are to try when you eat out. Wherever you’re going, they have specialties you should learn about.

#2 Look for busy stalls when deciding where to eat

Busy stalls are almost always a good sign regarding the quality of the food that they serve. But also take note of who is eating at these busy stalls. Women and children will rarely frequent a place that isn’t good.

#3 Take a note of stall hygiene

Street food stalls usually cook everything out in the open. The smells wafting along the streets are a great way to draw in customers. It also gives you the opportunity to watch the process. Watch out for people who handle money then touch food with their bare hands, people cooking with old dirty utensils, unclean cooking surfaces, flies and other insects hovering around previously prepared food.

If the chef is handing the food, money and clean up with or without gloves, perhaps it is a good idea to move on to the next stall.

#4 Carry your own silverware

Sometimes it is a safer bet to carry your own silverware or wipe down the cutlery with a baby wipe before using it. Just to be safe. The cutlery the stall provides might be dirty. Even if they are clean, they may have been washed with the local water that your body cannot handle.

#5 Follow local mealtimes

You may know what you want to eat, but you also need to know when to eat. People eat their meals at different times all over the world.  Try and follow local mealtimes as much as possible. This means the food prepared is fresh. If you eat at off times, the food might be sitting around since it was cooked for the lunch/dinner rush.CulturallyOurs Street Food Safety And Health

#6 Learn local words for popular food items

Download or print out a translation card if you have certain food restrictions or are allergic to certain foods – especially if you are in a foreign country and don’t speak the native language. Also being vegetarian can mean different things for different people. So be specific bout exactly what you can or cannot eat.

#7 Pay attention to the food

Ensure that food that is supposed to be served hot is actually cooked thoroughly. If you are not sure about the quality of the meat or that it has been cooked properly, it is better to avoid it. Make sure the produce being used is fresh especially fruits and vegetables.

#8 Be cautious about ice

Be wary about ice being used in drinks as you don’t always know where the water for the ice is from especially when tap water is not 100% safe. When in doubt it is better to skip the ice in your drinks.

#9 Trust your gut – literally and figuratively 

If something does not feel right, stop eating right away. You may be an adventurous person, but it is never a good idea to be brave about things that you put into your body if you are unsure. Getting an up close and personal look at the local hospital is never a good idea on a trip especially when you are far from home and everything that is familiar and known to you.CulturallyOurs Street Food Safety And HealthDo you enjoy street food? And what do you do to make sure you don’t get sick from eating street food?

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How to enjoy street food safely when you travel by CulturallyOurs

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