Eat the street food, not the street food. This is a universal truth. The reason for it is simple: first, because the food you will eat from the street is cheaper and more affordable, and second, it tastes much better. It’s not just about the taste, of course—when you eat food from the street, you’re also exposing yourself to the environment of the country where you’re travelling. However, in some instances eating street food may cause you discomfort. Do you know how to eat street food without getting sick?
Eat Well and Be Safe With These Tips!
When travelling, many of us crave that classic and traditional street food that we eat while on our travels. But, there’s always that fear of getting sick and possibly getting sicker if you eat the wrong food. This is where this article comes in. To help you enjoy the wonderful taste of street foods, check on the following tips to help you avoid getting into stomachache situations:
- Do some research. So, if you’re thinking about eating street food in a foreign country, one of the most important things you can do is research the food first. You wouldn’t want to partake in some questionable street food, only to find out it was poisoning you, right? A lot of the time, a good local guidebook is all you need to navigate the food options in a new city.
- Eat when and where the locals eat. Eating out, especially in foreign countries, can be an adventure in itself. For some, it’s a chance to try new foods, while for others, it’s a chance to discover what their favourite foods are. There are also plenty of people that like to eat street food and do so without getting sick. The key is not to overdo things and to eat when the locals eat, as this is when you’ll get the freshest foods and the most variety.
- Ask locals for some recommendations. As the number of tourists and the number of local populations continues to rise, street food is becoming more widespread. Yet, it is not uncommon to hear people express fears about eating from street stalls and hawkers. These fears often come from a lack of knowledge about what to do and what not to do. If you are in a new place, you can find out how to eat street food safely and efficiently by asking locals for some recommendations.
- Stay away from open kitchens. If you are looking for authentic street food, don’t head to food stalls but to a restaurant that offers few on its menu. This means that the food is well-prepared and is still fresh.
- If that sauce looks like it had been ignored the entire day, then that is a red flag. Did you know that the street vendors in many countries around the world will often make food on the spot and then leave it out on the street to sit? This is an old tradition and part of the reason why most street food is so cheap, but because it’s not cooked properly and can sit outside for hours or even days, the food can become incredibly dangerous.
- Sanitise cutlery first, or better travel with your cutlery to be safe. One of the best ways to avoid sickness while travelling is to bring your cutlery. That way, you’ll be able to avoid the most common food-borne illnesses. These include norovirus, which is highly contagious and is a common cause of traveller’s diarrhoea; salmonella, which causes food poisoning and is often linked to raw chicken; and E. coli, which is a common cause of traveller’s diarrhoea and can cause kidney failure.
- Avoid consuming foods that are not fully cooked. When travelling, sometimes it is difficult to find food that is hygienic and safe to eat. Many street food vendors have stalls that are often located in not-so-nice areas. It is always better to get foods from vendors that are cooked and served in a condition that it is safe for consumption.
There’s no getting around it. Eating street food can be dangerous. But there are ways to avoid getting sick. Street food can be very high in bacteria and other contaminants and carry heavy metals, pesticides, and chemical toxins from various other sources. By practising basic hygiene and keeping yourself and your food safe, you can eat street food without worrying about being sick.