Food Safety While Traveling

The cleanliness of food and water in many developing countries can pose a serious health risk to travelers. Just because the locals are eating and drinking something does not mean that you should, especially if that special food item is raw, very fresh, or fermented. They've had their entire lives to build up an immunity to it. You, however, were raised in a sterile bubble. Expect the locals to laugh at you about this.


When it comes to food, there's an old saying: peel it, cook it, wash it, or vomit. When in developing countries, you'll need to peel fresh fruits and vegetables, or cook them, before eating. Always use clean bottled water when washing food. This means that salads should be avoided (eat cooked veggies instead). Carrying a pocket knife might be useful in many developing countries for peeling fruit and opening cans. Also, many people recommend that you avoid dairy products. In many countries, the milk, ice cream, and yogurt are extremely and immediately fresh. You might as well just put your mouth under the cow's udder. The only thing worse is when it's not so fresh.


As you probably already know, you shouldn't drink the water in many developing countries. If you're in such a country, make sure that any raw foods you eat are washed with bottled water. Also, use bottled water to brush your teeth.

Street Food?

Some people claim that you should never eat street food. Others say that you should only eat street food. Ultimately, it depends on where you are and what the food looks like. How was it cooked? Did that meat get hot enough? Was it washed in clean water? There's no simple rule, just pay attention to the cooking process. Sometimes street food can be fresher than food from a restaurant. With street food, you can actually see how it is prepared. In a restaurant, you usually can't. This is why many people say you should eat it - just pay attention!

It's not all bad, though. Use your best judgment. Food around the world is why many of us travel. It's part of the experience, and it can be really really good. Just use common sense and you will stay out of trouble. And in the end, there's always Cipro and that pink stuff.

Stay Protected

In case you end up getting sick in another country, you will probably need travel insurance or international medical insurance. We have put together a guide to travel insurance that explains everything, and also features some affordable options such as Heymondo and others.

Budget Your Trip
Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. On this website you can also find travel advice, tour information, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions for thousands of destinations around the world.
Share This Article
Pin This Page

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.