Traveling to new places means trying different and exciting foods, but knowing which ones might not be good for your stomach is essential. Let’s talk about 15 foods you should think twice about eating in a new country. We’ll help you stay safe and feel good while still having fun exploring all the yummy things your travel spot has to offer!
15. Street Food with Pre-Cooked Items
Street food can be tempting, but be cautious of items that have been pre-cooked and left out. These foods may have been sitting for hours, increasing the risk of bacterial growth. Always opt for food that is cooked fresh in front of you.
14. Salad in Countries with Unsafe Drinking Water
Salads might be risky where tap water isn’t safe because they’re often washed in it. Contaminated water can lead to stomach illnesses. It’s safer to eat cooked vegetables instead of raw ones. Don’t be shy about asking if filtered water was used.
13. Fruit without Peels
Fruits like berries or grapes that don’t have peels can be washed in unsafe water. Since you can’t peel them, you might ingest harmful bacteria. Stick to fruits you can peel yourself, like bananas or oranges.
12. Unpasteurized “Fresh” Milk
Unpasteurized milk hasn’t been treated to kill bacteria, which can cause sickness. In many countries, milk standards differ, and drinking raw milk can lead to severe illness. Always choose pasteurized milk products when traveling.
11. Tap Water and Ice
In many places, tap water isn’t safe, including ice made from it. Using bottled or boiled water is a safer choice. Avoid ice in drinks unless you’re sure it’s made from purified water.
10. Street Vendor Sushi
Sushi needs to be kept at the right temperature to stay safe. Street vendors might not have the facilities to store sushi properly, especially in hot climates. It’s safer to eat sushi from reputable restaurants.
9. Brain of Any Kind
Eating animal brains can be risky because of prions, which cause diseases like Mad Cow. These diseases affect the brain and are very serious. It’s best to avoid eating brain dishes while traveling.
8. Unpasteurized Cheese
Like milk, cheese that hasn’t been pasteurized can contain harmful bacteria. This is especially risky in regions with less strict food safety practices. Opt for cheeses that are clearly labeled as pasteurized.
7. Rice Held at Room Temperature
Left at room temperature, rice can grow harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning. This is often a problem in buffets, where rice sits out for hours. Always eat rice that’s been freshly cooked and kept hot.
6. Buffet Foods
Buffets often have food sitting out too long, raising the risk of bacterial growth. It’s hard to know how long each dish has been out. Be particularly cautious with dishes containing dairy, eggs, or meat.
5. Raw Fish
Raw fish, if not handled correctly, can harbor parasites and bacteria. Eating raw fish only in reputable establishments with strict hygiene practices is essential. Be extra careful with raw fish in areas far from the sea.
But what about when you bring seafood into your home? Knowing how to store and handle it properly is just as important. For instance, understanding how long salmon lasts in the fridge can be vital to ensuring you’re consuming it safely. For more detailed insights, check out this informative article: How Long Does Salmon Last in the Fridge?
4. Undercooked Fish
Like raw fish, undercooked fish can also be a breeding ground for parasites. Cooking fish thoroughly kills these harmful organisms. Always ensure your fish is well-cooked, especially in unfamiliar places.
3. Uncooked Foods with Ingredients that Spoil Quickly
When traveling, it’s wise to be cautious about consuming foods containing dairy, eggs, or mayonnaise that haven’t been cooked or adequately refrigerated. These ingredients can spoil quickly and become breeding grounds for bacteria, potentially leading to food poisoning. Choosing dishes that are freshly prepared and maintained at safe temperatures is safer.
But this caution isn’t just for when you’re on the road; it’s also crucial in your kitchen. Take butter, for example. Many people wonder about its shelf life and how to store it properly. Does butter go bad? Absolutely. Like many dairy products, butter must be stored correctly to prevent spoilage. For a detailed guide on how to store butter and understand its shelf life, check out this helpful article: Does Butter Go Bad?
2. Street Food Vendors Cooking with Unrefrigerated Seafood
Seafood needs to be stored at the right temperature to prevent spoilage. If you see a street food vendor with seafood that isn’t refrigerated, it’s best to avoid it. Spoiled seafood can cause severe food poisoning.
Shellfish, like oysters, clams, or scallops, can contain toxins and bacteria if not fresh. They can cause severe illnesses like shellfish poisoning. Be sure to eat shellfish only in reputable restaurants, and avoid them if you’re unsure about their freshness.
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