8 Food and Water Safety Tips for Travelers

Allison Tsai Jul 15th, 2014 (updated Jun 9th, 2015)
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DO eat fully cooked, hot food
DO eat fully cooked, hot food

Make sure your meat is cooked all the way through, as this will kill the germs. Meat that is rare or served at room temperature could make you ill. It’s also best to avoid raw seafood, such as sushi.

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DON’T eat raw fruits and vegetables
DON’T eat raw fruits and vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables can carry germs that can cause diarrhea or other infectious diseases. Do not eat raw, unwashed or unpeeled fruits and veggies, including salads. You can eat fruits and veggies you have washed yourself in clean water or peeled yourself.

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DO eat hard-cooked eggs
DO eat hard-cooked eggs

Sunny-side up eggs may be your breakfast of choice, but hard-cooked eggs are the safest ways to eat eggs in underdeveloped countries. Do not eat raw, soft-cooked or runny eggs.

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DON’T drink tap water or have ice in your drinks
DON’T drink tap water or have ice in your drinks

The tap water or water used to make the ice could be contaminated. In some places, it’s not even safe to use tap water to brush your teeth. Instead, brush your teeth with bottled water.

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DO drink bottled water, soda or sports drinks
DO drink bottled water, soda or sports drinks

You may think it’s healthier to opt for tap water than a canned soda, but all bottled and sealed drinks are better. Carbonated drinks are safer than non-carbonated beverages. Hot coffee and tea are also safe to drink.

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DON’T eat or drink unpasteurized dairy products
DON’T eat or drink unpasteurized dairy products

It may be tempting to try the local cheese, but eating unpasteurized cheese, yogurt or other dairy products is unsafe. Make sure you are drinking pasteurized milk, too.

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DO eat dry foods and packaged foods
DO eat dry foods and packaged foods

Things like bread, crackers and any other foods from a factory sealed package or container are safe to eat.

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Don’t eat food from street vendors
Don’t eat food from street vendors

Getting a whiff of the food cooking at the street vendors may be tempting, but avoid eating it. This includes flavored ice or ice pops, and any kind of exotic meat, such as monkeys, bats or other wild game.