Getting a bout of food poisoning is a sure way of ruining your holiday – especially when it can be avoided. Most illnesses abroad will be water or food-borne. To reduce the risks, you’ve got to be quite strict with your food hygiene. It’s easy to take the standards we have at home for granted. But elsewhere, hygiene can be a bit more relaxed. To ensure you don’t get food poisoning on holiday, follow our five tips:
Dodge food that’s been left out for ages
Food that’s been cooked and left to stand (for example, buffets) can harbour a scary amount of bacteria. When you eat, your food should still be piping hot. It’s better to have to wait for it to cool, than for it to have been sat out exposed for hours.
Watch your food being cooked
If you have any doubts about how long food has been out for, you can always ask for a fresh dish. This is especially important for street food. It’s often associated with poor food hygiene practices, but as long as you see it cooked fresh in front of you, you should be able to try some great dishes without worrying. It’s also a good idea to go to the stalls popular with locals. They’ll know what’s good.
Store your food properly
If you’re doing self-catered, make sure you chill your food correctly. Salmonella can be caused when you leave food in picnic bags in the back of a hot car, and then eat it. You’re advised to take a cool box and only open it when you are ready to eat.
Drink alcohol (in moderation)
Experts have found that wine, beer, gin and other alcohol are great at preventing the food-borne pathogens (salmonella, E.Coli, Listeria, and even Cholera) that cause so many people to fall ill on holiday.
World-leading food scientist, Richard Conroy, explained to The Sun that alcohol concentrations attacked the bacteria itself, killing any bugs while the acid secretions after drinking could help to neutralise anything nasty lurking in your stomach.
Wash your hands regularly
It might seem obvious – but it’s easily forgotten when you’re preoccupied. Get into the habit of washing your hands before and after you eat when you’re on holiday.
Having food poisoning is unpleasant for anyone. But it can be riskier for people with medical conditions. Diabetics, for example, should carefully watch their blood glucose levels as vomiting can lead to low blood glucose, whilst a fever may have the opposite effect. You can find out more about travelling with diabetes from Insurancewith.
Have you ever had food poisoning on holiday? Share your experiences with us.